In recognition of its outstanding service to opportunity youth, YouthBuild USA has been awarded an $8.9 million grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. This funding is a continuation of a three-year grant. Funds will be distributed to YouthBuild programs across the country that are helping young people reclaim their education and careers.
YouthBuild programs help unemployed and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 attain their High School Equivalency (HSE) or high school diploma. During that time, they also learn career skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods while engaging in community service and leadership training. Graduates leave prepared for success in post-secondary education, careers and registered apprenticeships — and as a part of a strong and supportive global community.
“For more than two decades, Americans have answered the call to serve by pledging to ‘get things done’ as AmeriCorps members,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “Through their dedication and sacrifice, I know our nation is in good hands. We are so pleased to be supporting more AmeriCorps members for YouthBuild USA, where their service will help to create a brighter tomorrow. I salute all of our AmeriCorps members – past, present, and future – and thank those who help make their service possible.”
This award will support approximately 2,642 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members focused on building affordable housing and providing community healthcare, conservation, recycling and sustainability, computer infrastructure, and child development services for individuals and families in 65 low-income communities in 29 states. Through the grant, more than 1 million direct service hours will be completed by the members, and at least 350 units of affordable housing will be made available for low-income individuals and families.
In addition, CNCS will also make available an additional $4.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing their term of service, AmeriCorps members receive awards they can use to pay for post-secondary education and future job training activities.
“This funding from CNCS for the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program is crucial in developing the next generation of young leaders who are committed to transforming their lives and making a positive impact on those around them,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “As we make our way through a global pandemic, the need has never been higher. When young people have access to an education and a support system of people who believe in them, a healthy, productive future is well within their grasp. YouthBuild greatly appreciates its longstanding partnership with CNCS, which has resulted in decades of service to the community and leadership development for opportunity youth.”
YouthBuild USA has been an AmeriCorps grantee since AmeriCorps’ inception in 1994. Since then, YouthBuild USA has enrolled more than 42,000 AmeriCorps members who have generated millions of direct service hours, including developing or repairing thousands of units of affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Nearly 12,000 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members have earned their HSE or high school equivalency and have earned a total of $35.5 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.
YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for 300 local YouthBuild programs operating in 21 countries, with 252 programs in 46 U.S. states and 48 programs in 20 other countries. In YouthBuild programs, unemployed, low-income, and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 work toward their high school diploma or equivalency, while learning job skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service and leadership training. Proven effective by the most rigorous program evaluation research, YouthBuild’s comprehensive model gives graduates the confidence and tools they need to become strong, responsible, and ethical young leaders. For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org.
This funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, civic engagement, and national service programs like AmeriCorps. For more than 25 years, more than 1 million dedicated Americans have joined AmeriCorps and pledged to ‘get things done.’ This year, the 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, will do the same as they rebuild communities, support veterans, fight the opioid epidemic, prepare students for success, foster economic opportunity, and more. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/join.