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June 10, 2024

YouthBuild USA Announces First Global Leadership Fellows Cohort

From left to right: Benedito Orduno, Kristina Smith, Shevone Myrick, John (Jake) Cook, Xavier Jennings, Muhammad Saif, Dorothy (Dee) Goins, Jerrell Morton, Regina Trujillo, Michael Anderson, Claudia Consuelos, Jill Johnson, Jenette Adams, Carlos Argueta, Kara Johnson, Roman Woodson, and Frank Alvarez

A group of 20 international YouthBuild leaders were selected for their commitment to opportunity youth, personal growth and the YouthBuild movement.

To strengthen the YouthBuild movement and support the leadership of local program directors around the world, YouthBuild USA announces its 2024–2026 cohort of Leadership Fellows.

Jenette Adams
YouthBuild Long Island
Deer Park, New York

Frank Alvarez
R.U.T.H. YouthBuild
Canoga Park, California

Michael Anderson
YouthBuild Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska

Carlos Argueta
YouthBuild Lake County
North Chicago, Illinois

Claudia Consuelos
YouthBuild Rockford
Rockford, Illinois

John (Jake) Cook
Climb CDC YouthBuild
Gulfport, Mississippi

Sabrina Davis
Building Futures YouthBuild
Godfrey, Illinois

Dorothy (Dee) Goins
YouthBuild Inland Empire
San Bernardino, California

Xavier Jennings
Mile High Youth Corps YouthBuild
Denver, Colorado

Jill Johnson
YouthBuild St. Paul Westside
St. Paul, Minnesota


Kara Johnson
Heart of Oregon YouthBuild
Sisters, Oregon

Jerrell Morton
Job Point’s YouthBuild
Columbia, Missouri

Shevone Myrick
Housing Authority of Champaign County YouthBuild
Champaign, Illinois

Everlyne Ngare
CAP Youth Empowerment Institute
Nairobi, Kenya

Benedito Orduno
Moreno Valley YouthBuild
Moreno Valley, California

Juliano Gonçalves Pereira
Jovens Construtores Brasil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Muhammad Abu Saif
YouthBuild Ventures UK
London, England

Kristina Smith
Georgia Building Trades Academy YouthBuild
Atlanta, Georgia

Regina Trujillo
YouthBuild México
León Guanajuato, Mexico

Roman Woodson
New Settlement YouthBuild
Bronx, New York

These 20 dedicated individuals were selected for their commitment to the growth and success of opportunity youth — young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor employed. They embody the principles of service and transformation at the heart of the YouthBuild mission. The two-year fellowship offers an immersive learning experience with three key components: Leadership and Professional DevelopmentSelf-Care; and Peer Support and Community Building.

“Our Leadership Fellows hold immense talent and vision for the YouthBuild movement. We’re excited to support them in their professional and personal growth trajectories,” said John Valverde, president and CEO of YouthBuild USA. “We aim to cultivate a fellowship experience that isn’t just an accolade, but a transformative period for each leader and, by extension, the communities they serve. It’s a recognition of their immense potential to influence change and propel YouthBuild toward new heights.”

The program provides opportunities for directors to strengthen their leadership and organizational development skills, build community, and work together to strengthen collective efforts in support of opportunity youth. Fellows work together on practices to inform the entire network about positive youth development and program sustainability, influencing the future of policies and practices at all YouthBuild programs. This framework is grounded in YouthBuild’s core values of love, collaboration, accountability, diversity, and leadership.

The YouthBuild Leadership Fellows includes at least four in-person gatherings and multiple virtual sessions across two years, guided by a blend of peer insights, YouthBuild USA staff, and external experts.

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