Elijah's Story

Learn about Elijah's route through YouthBuild to employment and postsecondary education

Elijah Stephenson is a Special Projects Coordinator at YouthBuild Providence (YBP) in Providence, RI. He is responsible for organizing and planning fundraisers and events, managing the creation of community partnerships and supporting the expansion of academic and career resources for students. His deep commitment and passion for the organization and the students he works with is driven by his own experiences as a student and national service member at YBP.

In 2010 Elijah was looking for support and direction with his postsecondary goals. He had previously been a student with Flushing YouthBuild and wanted to return to the YouthBuild model. After learning about the opportunities at YBP he enrolled in the program and started his year-long, transformational journey. As a student he gained valuable skills in teamwork, leadership and problem solving. Additionally, he was connected to new educational and career opportunities and forged a meaningful and lasting relationship with the community.  

Wanting to support fellow students and strengthen his professional skillset, Elijah returned to YBP to serve as a VISTA in 2014. Through his service Elijah honed skills that eventually led to his gaining employment as a full-time YBP staff member. With the AmeriCorps Segal Education award he has begun taking classes in social work. His goal is to complete his degree and to continue to empower young people like himself to reach their goals.

“It wasn’t until my year as a VISTA that I opened my eyes to other career paths. I do believe that my year not only as a VISTA, but at YouthBuild Providence allowed me to find a new path in my life.”

Alexis Bach
"I have wanted to be a nurse since I was about 13 or 14 years old, I’m finally able to do it and it’s amazing."
"I think it’s important to make the connection between leadership development and education."
Ely Flores
"During my time at the LA CAUSA YouthBuild program in East Los Angeles, I discovered that I was indeed a leader and that there were leadership assets within me and within my community."