Opportunity Youth Attend Annual YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2019 — Over 80 young leaders from YouthBuild programs across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to further develop their leadership skills and network with current and former students at the 31st Annual YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders.

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 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.  

“I am so grateful to have been a part of the Conference of Young Leaders where I connected with so many people in so many ways,” said De’Nycea Brown, a student at YouthBuild KCK in Kansas City, Kansas. “YouthBuild has helped me get out of my comfort zone and it has pushed me to keep going. Not only has the program helped me physically and emotionally, but it has given me an opportunity to earn an education and develop life skills so I can continue to be the best that I can be.”

There are 252 YouthBuild 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.

About YouthBuild USA

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.

###