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Austin, Texas

American Youthworks’ YouthBuild Austin

American Youthworks’ YouthBuild Austin program connects young people and young adults with opportunities. Participants find career paths, self-confidence, and a supportive peer network while completing service projects that benefit the community.

Founded in 1997, YouthBuild Austin serves opportunity youth: young adults ages 16–24 who are neither in school nor employed. The young people served by YouthBuild Austin are often in low-income circumstances earning at or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Level (FPIL).

The Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board estimates there are over 13,880 opportunity youth in Austin. These young people face many barriers to employment, including pregnancy or parenting, being unhoused, lack of a supportive family network, or involvement in the foster care system.

The past few years have shown the socioeconomic disparities in our systems, and YouthBuild Austin helps to bridge these gaps every day to improve the lives of young people.

All program participants are treated with love and respect, and the program services are of no cost to the young people who are enrolled. YouthBuild Austin believes in the power and potential of every young person, and that everyone is an important member of the community.

YouthBuild Austin’s HealthCorps program offers the experience needed to start healthcare careers by earning industry certifications and on-site training in collaboration with partners such as Austin Community College, Red Cross, and local CommUnityCare clinics. Participants also earn their Community Health Worker (CHW) Certification, certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This certification is taught by a Licensed Nurse on staff and provides 160 hours of training, with 132 hours in the classroom and 28 hours on assignments in the community. Participants learn how to support patients through navigation training, health education and outreach, and how to apply these skills in a community setting.

Participants often say that the program experience reveals skills they didn’t know they had. Participants are proud of the achievements they make, for both themselves and their families.

“It’s honestly encouraging me to know that my daughter is going to have a mom that’s going to have a good career and no matter what brings you down you can always come back up,” said YouthBuild Austin HealthWorks Graduate Desiree.

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