a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.
YouthBuild Philly gives each student the unique supports and opportunities needed to change their future. Your support makes it possible for young people in Philadelphia to break out of the cycle of poverty and move forward with their lives.
Jerome dropped out of high school during his junior year, when his mom got sick and lost her job. The oldest of four, he worked for a catering company so that his brothers could stay in school and his family could stay in their home. While he gladly took on this responsibility for his loved ones, Jerome never lost sight of where his career could take him if he went back to school.
As his mother recovered, Jerome resumed his education at YouthBuild Philly in 2013 and enrolled in the Greenbuild vocational training track. He and his squadmates deconstructed an abandoned rowhome to ready it for LEED-targeted renovation, and participated in the International Greenbuild Conference held in Philadelphia that year. Jerome quickly distinguished himself as a reliable, outgoing and intelligent young man and took on a leadership role within the Greenbuild team.
For Jerome to fully take advantage of his second chance, he needed an opportunity to show he was capable of contributing in a career setting. In the spring, that opportunity arose when Graboyes Commercial Window Company came to YouthBuild to replace the school’s windows. YouthBuild’s Director of Vocational Training recommended Jerome for an internship with Graboyes which quickly became a paid position.
Jerome’s career goal is to be a journeyman in the glaziers’ union, and the company is supporting and encouraging him to embark on that training process this year. “Thanks to YouthBuild and the opportunities they gave me,” Jerome says, “I went from having a dead-end job to now being at the very start of my dream career.”
Working to build a green home with his peers helped Jerome understand that he could play an active role in improving his community, through service as well as leadership and hard work. “When I first dropped out of school,” Jerome observes, “it was because I needed to support my family. Now, thanks to YouthBuild, I am not only able to support my family, but also my community.”
Every year, YouthBuild enrolls 220 students. Each student has his or her own story, but all have one thing in common: whatever their past, whatever their obstacles, they’re ready to move forward with their lives. YouthBuild paves the way for young people’s dreams, and your support makes that possible.
Make a gift today to give more students like Jerome the second chance they need and deserve: