A small, alternative school, YouthBuild PCS offers 16- to 24-year olds who have dropped out, aged out, or been expelled from traditional high schools, a unique second chance. In an intimate, supportive environment, students take classes in English or Spanish, earn a GED, acquire the skills to be successful in college or the workplace, and navigate the transition to adulthood. And this is no mean feat: 100% are low-income; roughly 30% qualify for special education; approximately 25% are experiencing homelessness; 20% are parents themselves; another third speak little or no English; and most begin with extremely low math and reading skills. Students alternate between the classroom, construction site (building affordable housing units), and service learning opportunities (creating community gardens and cleaning up local rivers). Young people who often feel that they have nothing to offer leave YouthBuild PCS with a different perspective: “I built that,” they say. They have built even more.
COVID-19 Update: The academic program is fully virtual at present. New students participate in one day of in-person orientation to ensure that they're able to use their Chromebooks and successfully access their student email and learning platforms before they begin connecting from home. If they are comfortable, they also have the option to come in-person during their construction rotation. Chromebooks have been provided for all students who need them.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 1
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; Columbia Heights; Mt. Pleasant; Shaw; Petworth
Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Individuals living with HIV/AIDs; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Veterans/Military Families; Immigrants/Refugees; All
Schools They Work In: We are a DC Public Charter School.
- Number of children you prepare for success in school annually:
- High school graduation rate (or GED completion rate) of your students:
50% of students who entered the school year with at least a 9th grade reading level as measured by the CASAS, passed the GED
- Percentage of graduating students successfully placed in either the workforce or a post-secondary education institution within 3 months of completing the school year:
- Student-to-teacher ratio:
15 to 1
Awards & Recognition
Evaluated as a Tier 1 school since 2017
- Preparan a jÃ³venes hispanos para afrontar retos del futuro laboral en Washington, DC (VIDEO)
Thu Oct 20 2016, Mundo Hispanico
Las aulas del centro intentan reflejar fielmente el ambiente y las experiencias laborales bilingÃ¼es que enfrentarÃan en la vida real.
- Students from YouthBuild Public Charter School Represent Local Opportunity Youth at YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders and YouthBuild USA Capitol Hill Day
Fri Mar 11 2016, www.youthbuildpcs.org
The YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders brought together 109 low-income young people from across the country.
- Students get face time with President Obama after White House tour
Fri Aug 6 2010, Washington Post
Some chances come along just once in a lifetime, leaving you speechless, stomach in knots, just standing there not knowing what to say.
- A change in attitude
Fri Jan 29 2010, Washington Post
Looking ahead: William Butler, who dropped out of school in sixth grade, is working on his GED now, inspired by the man in the White House.
- City First bank Honors the Latin American Youth Center and the Youthbuild Public Charter School with its Baptist Award
Fri Oct 12 2007, www.youthbuildpcs.org
City First Bank honors Latin American Youth Center and YouthBuild Public Charter School with its 2006 Baptist Community Development Award.
- The current budget for YouthBuild Public Charter School is: $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
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