We Serve

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School MLK Day of Service Event

50 Million hours of service and counting…

YouthBuild was built on a philosophy of service expressed by the young people who joined the original Youth Action Program in 1978. When asked how they would improve their communities if adults would provide the resources, they said, “We’d rebuild the abandoned houses. We’d take them away from the drug dealers and give them to the homeless people.” Clearly, it was in their nature to serve, and serve they did.

All young people who enter a YouthBuild program, anywhere in the world, pursue a dual mission: to create a meaningful and productive life for themselves and their families while giving their best energies to improve the world around them. 

Because of this service mission, YouthBuild staff have participated in the national service movement since 1981, and YouthBuild USA became a National Direct AmeriCorps grantee when AmeriCorps first began in 1994. This has resulted in over $77.2 million in pass-through grants to 156 local YouthBuild programs, enabling 3,000 YouthBuild students each year to earn an AmeriCorps education award for the service they do building affordable housing. This partnership has supported the spirit of service at the heart of YouthBuild, making it possible for thousands of members to give over 1.2 million hours of community service in their local communities each year.  Since 1994, 22,500 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members have logged a cumulative total of 11.7 million community-service leadership hours while:

  • Rebuilding or rehabilitating 4,500 units of affordable housing
  • Refurbishing 5,000 computers for low-income families and nonprofits
  • Earning 11,000 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to help pay for college expenses

An additional 59,000 individual adult volunteers have given 1 million hours of community service at local YouthBuild programs as part of our YouthBuild AmeriCorps initiative. They are local residents or corporate employees recruited by the local YouthBuild program to join in service projects, tutoring, mentoring, board service, or other supportive activities.

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