A Window of Hope for Hassan

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 realize their full potential. 

Make a gift to the Annual Fund today.


Hassan’s Story:

When Hassan came to YouthBuild Philly in 2006, he had already attended several high schools, but had dropped out or been kicked out of each one because of his temper and impulse to fight. He was anxious about trying to go back to school after repeated disappointments, so he enrolled at YouthBuild at the same time as his sister to ease the transition.

What Hassan discovered, though, was that he already had “family” at YouthBuild, in the form of case managers and vocational instructors who were eager to support him as he worked to overcome his old mindset. Hassan enrolled in the selective Certified Nursing Assistant training track, and gained confidence and professional skills while interning at Mercy Hospital and volunteering at a Red Cross senior center.

Thanks to his valuable on-the-job training, Hassan found a job within two weeks of graduation and has excelled in his career thanks to the professional and communication skills he learned at YouthBuild. He is now a senior CNA at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia and is the self-described “go-to guy” for his department due to not only his professional experience, but also his experience as a parent. He has a knack for “dealing with kids on a kid’s level,” he says, but plans to go back to school and eventually open his own home security business. “The sky’s the limit,” he says of his future.

As someone who came from a background where “there was so little hope,” Hassan encourages everyone to not give up on young people. Finding YouthBuild helped Hassan turn his life around and escape the streets. “Most of the people I grew up with are either dead or in jail,” he says, “and if not for YouthBuild, that could’ve been me; YouthBuild saved my life.”

Everyone deserves a second chance.  At YouthBuild Philly, we offer students the training and indidivual supports they need to make that second chance count.  Help another young person turn their life around by making a gift to YouthBuild today:


A Window of Opportunity for Jerome

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.  

Make a gift to the Annual Fund today.


Jerome’s Story:

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: