Last Friday, YouthBuild 2012-13 officially came to a close. 25 Corpsmembers graduated from the program this year. With 13 earning GEDs, 20 earning PACT certifications, and 19 earning a total of $27,892 in AmeriCorps Education Awards, it was definitely an occasion to celebrate. Each one of them has been working hard since September, splitting their time between studying in the classroom and learning skills on a construction site. In collaboration with the Denver Housing Authority’s Mariposa project, YouthBuilders helped build 180 units of affordable housing during their term.
City Councilman Albus Brooks from District 8 spoke at the graduation ceremony on Friday. He had some encouraging words for the graduates:
Don’t quit. Each and every one of you has faced incredible challenges in your life, but deep inside you lies this will to overcome whatever you’re facing. So I say to you–congratulations, but you’re not done; way to go, but keep going. Your futures are bright. In the past, many of you couldn’t see past tomorrow, but today should be an opportunity for you to say “Yes, I can make it.” The sky is the limit!
And these YouthBuild Corpsmembers will take on that challenge. 17 of them will continue on to higher education in the fall at Community College of Denver while others have engaged apprenticeships with various companies throughout the city. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing about their many accomplishments in the future!