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Local Quad YouthBuild student attends conference

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | Views: 1154

Local Quad YouthBuild student attends conference
A Quad YouthBuild student was selected to join more than 80 other young leaders in Washington, D.C., to further develop his leadership skills and network with current and former students from YouthBuild programs across the country.

John Rock participated in the 31st Annual YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders during the week of June 3, 2019.

The YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders brings together young people from across the country to fully experience the breadth and impact of YouthBuild’s global movement rooted in leadership, service, education and workforce training. The young people shared their experiences with each other and participated in workshops on understanding substance abuse and its impact on long-term success, building healthy relationships, developing financial capability skills, identifying leadership styles and personal branding. Delegates like John Rock are chosen to attend by their fellow students and local YouthBuild program staff.

“YouthBuild students are full of promise and – when given the opportunity coupled with support from caring adults – they can go on to do great things,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA, who addressed the students at the conference. “Our Conference of Young Leaders shows young people that they are part of something larger than themselves. It gives them the confidence that they have the skillsets, mindsets and partners to return home and make a significant impact on their communities.”

A new addition to the Conference this year was the Service Impact Fair, where students highlighted their service to community through pictures, videos and stories during a science-fair-style event. The presentations told the story of the service they provided, the impact they’ve had on their community and what they learned during their time at YouthBuild.

“Quad YouthBuild is a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship, job training, education, and leadership development program for out-of-school and unemployed young adults ages 16 to 24. We help young adults develop skills in the construction trades through a worksite where they are able to build homes for low-income or homeless individuals. In addition to hands-on work experience, part of the participant’s time is spent in other education and training activities such as HiSET preparation, basic computer skills, conflict management, leadership development, financial literacy, and an intense focus on those soft skills every person needs to pay the bills! YouthBuild graduates leave the program with a toolbox filled with more than a hammer and tape— they have a solid education, real-world work experience, goals for their future, a support system and the self-confidence to know they can succeed. Watching the transformation of the youth in the program is incredible,” said Crystal Pena, Director of Quad YouthBuild.

“While at COYL, I learned how to build up my confidence to help others around me. I learned that I can make a difference in the world today,” said Rock.

Quad YouthBuild is one of 252 local programs across the U.S. that 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.

Quad YouthBuild is located in Hammond, LA, and operates under the umbrella of Quad Area Community Action Agency, Inc. Quad YouthBuild serves underserved youth ages 16-24 who have a desire to make a positive change in their life. Youth are provided the opportunity to get their high school equivalency diploma, nationally recognized occupational certifications, paid work experience, leadership development, and valuable 21st century soft-skills training. Quad YouthBuild offers a comprehensive approach to assisting youth which involves so much more than just education and training. Youth are also provided with 12 months of post-program assistance to ensure they are maintaining their new, positive pathways. Youth enrolled in Quad YouthBuild may be eligible to be AmeriCorps members where they may earn a monetary AmeriCorps award that can be used for post-secondary or continued training. For more information, visit or call (225) 567-2350.

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