YouthBuild USA Receives $8.9M AmeriCorps Grant
SOMERVILLE, Mass., May 2, 2019 — In recognition of its continued service to opportunity youth, YouthBuild USA has been awarded an $8.9 million grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs.
YouthBuild programs across the U.S. 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.
“Building on our nation’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will change lives, improve communities and build a safer, stronger and more united America,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “For 25 years, the AmeriCorps members who pledge to ‘get things done’ have represented the best of America while demonstrating the great promise and ideals of our country. I salute all the AmeriCorps members who will join them and congratulate YouthBuild USA on their 2019 AmeriCorps grant.”
This award will support approximately 2,642 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members focused on building affordable housing and providing community healthcare, conservation, recycling and sustainability, computer infrastructure, and child development services for individuals and families in 70 low-income communities in 31 states. Through the grant, more than 1 million direct service hours will be completed by the members, and at least 350 units of affordable housing will be made available for low-income individuals and families.
In addition, CNCS will also make available an additional $4.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing their term of service, AmeriCorps members receive awards they can use to pay for post-secondary education and future job training activities.
“YouthBuild’s comprehensive model unleashes the intelligence and positive energy of low-income young people to transform their lives. This funding helps us bring meaningful change to communities all across the country while allowing our young leaders to build a future that can include a college education,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “YouthBuild USA has been an AmeriCorps grantee since AmeriCorps’ inception in 1994, and it’s a significant partnership that helps open new doors of opportunity for our students that they never knew were possible.”
In 25 years, YouthBuild USA has enrolled more than 40,000 AmeriCorps members who have generated more than 17 million direct service hours, including developing or repairing at least 8,000 units of affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Nearly 10,000 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members have earned their HSE or high school equivalency and have earned a total of $34.5 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards. In addition, more than 90,000 volunteers and nearly 1.5 million volunteer hours have been generated over the last 25 years.
“AmeriCorps and performing service helped me become a better man and helped me give back to my community,” said Lucas Ramos, a YouthBuild AmeriCorps member from Nubian Directions II in Poughkeepsie, New York. “It allowed me to be a leader and helped me push myself and strive for more. Before coming to YouthBuild, I didn’t think I would go back to school. Now I will use the AmeriCorps education award to do the things I thought I could not do.”
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.
This funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service. This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served their country through the national service program. Organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.