YouthBuild USA Announces Recipients of the Helene D. Stoneman Scholarship and Civic Leadership Program

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

SOMERVILLE, Mass., January 29, 2020 —YouthBuild USA has announced the 10 recipients of its 2019 Helene D. Stoneman Scholarship and Civic Leadership Program in support of YouthBuild alumni leaders’ post-secondary education and training. The scholarship provides awards of $1,000 to outstanding YouthBuild graduates across the U.S. who have been recognized for excellence in civic engagement, community leadership and academic achievement, with special emphasis on the students’ academic promise.

The recipients of the 2019 Stoneman Scholarships are pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of fields. Some have recently graduated from their YouthBuild program, while others have been alumni for years and still are engaged with the YouthBuild movement. Winners were chosen from a pool of 30 applicants who submitted a personal essay, a personal recommendation and college transcripts. 

The 2019 Helene D. Stoneman Scholarship winners:

  • Faron Brinkley, YouthBuild Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Southern New Hampshire University, Bachelor’s, Psychology

  • Kimberly Dalton, YouthBuild Fall River - Fall River, MA

Simmons College, Master’s, Social Work

  • Amanda Guzman, Youth Action YouthBuild - New York, NY

Stony Brook University, Master’s, Human Resource Management

  • Xavier Jennings, Mile High Youth Corps - Denver, CO

Metropolitan State University of Denver, Bachelor’s, Communication Studies

  • Alicia Lenard, YouthBuild McLean County - Normal, IL

Illinois State University, Master’s, Education

  • Don Lundy, YES YouthBuild - Los Angeles, CA

Cal State San Bernadino, Master’s, Human Communications

  • Naysha Powell, LEAD Charter School, YouthBuild Newark - Newark, NJ

Rutgers University, Bachelor’s, Social Work

  • Bryan Ross, YES YouthBuild - Los Angeles, CA

Cerritos College, Associate’s, Kinesiology

  • Jude Steffers-Wilson, Youth Action YouthBuild - New York, NY

Borough of Manhattan Community College, Associate’s, Philosophy

  • Lorenzo Valencia, Venice YouthBuild - Venice, CA

West Los Angeles College, Associate’s, Film Production

“Our Stoneman Scholars are talented young leaders with unique gifts benefitting their communities and the larger world,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “We’re proud to celebrate this year’s group of deserving honorees, and to support them as they continue to develop skillsets and mindsets leading to lifelong professional and personal success.”

Since 2005, the Helene D. Stoneman Scholarship and Civic Leadership Program has awarded 305 gifts to 151 YouthBuild graduates attending post-secondary education or training, providing $610,000 to assist YouthBuild graduates with their postsecondary education.

YouthBuild founder Dorothy Stoneman, with her sister Elinor Stoneman Shaffer, established the scholarship in honor of their mother, Helene D. Stoneman. Helene was a child of German immigrants who devoted her energies to the League of Women Voters. She was president both of the Belmont League of Women Voters and the Massachusetts League, and a longtime member of the board of the National League. She was an untiring worker for education, civic engagement, and voters’ rights. This scholarship recognizes YouthBuild graduates who share Helene’s passion for leadership and education.

YouthBuild programs across the U.S. help opportunity youth – 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 postsecondary education, careers and registered apprenticeships — and as a part of a strong and supportive global community. The post-program educational tracks of Stoneman Scholars include trade schools, certificate programs, community colleges, four-year colleges and more.

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.  

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