Last Friday, September 11, Mile High Youth Corps Corpsmembers took part in a graduation ceremony celebrating successful completion of the YouthBuild program. All YouthBuild graduates have developed construction skills, obtained educational goals through making educational advancements and/or completion of a GED, and engaged in leadership development, civic engagement and job readiness activities. The final step for YouthBuild graduates is finding long-term employment or entering post-secondary education. Nearly half of this class of graduates has already started in their next positions, from joining construction apprenticeships to working on energy and water conservation projects. Another fourth have started interviewing, while several are dedicated to continuing their education within the next year utilizing the AmeriCorps education awards they earned through Mile High Youth Corps.
We have included some excerpts from the Fall 2009 YouthBuild Graduation below:
Mellissa’s Commencement Speech:
I think that in some ways our backgrounds after mental toughness brought us together, some of us before this job wouldn’t have even spoke to each other if we had seen each other walking down the street, on the bus or even in our own neighborhood.
Today is a proud day for all of us, we have broken barriers and stereotypes that destroyed our communities, reached out to help communities and in the process of this we remained upbeat and faith filled that we were impacting our futures and the futures those who may be watching us, like our children, brothers, and sisters.
I am truly happy and proud to have met all of you, to see you all achieve things that may have not been possible a year ago due to life’s little inconveniencies; you are all unique, intelligent individuals that are inspirational to me and many others.
Justine’s Commencement Speech:
I started the YouthBuild program February 9th and it’s been 8 months since and I’m graduating today, September 11th ready and confident to take that next big step. This program has been the best experience of my life. The energy and the support was amazing.
My classmates always managed to turn my frowns around, and my teachers never gave up on me no matter how much of a pain I was.
I came to Mile High Youth Corps lost and confused, I was a big mess, with no hope, but today, and from here on, I’m making my past my past and I’m leaving a new changed person with so much confidence. My only visions are sucess, I know now I have the power to provide and make the best for me and my son.
We all came with our own steps
Steady stepping with Mile High
We have this experience forever
A Scar that will be there forever and won’t ever get covered up
Don’t ever give up
And if anyone falls remember mile high brought us up
Inspired by the green with that M standing strong by our hearts
We go for thee gold to succeed
We follow our hearts to believe
Mile High Helped us to Believe
On behalf of Youth build
To the youth build staff