The YouthBuild Program at Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) is an all-inclusive job-training, education and leadership development program. YouthBuild engages out-of-school and unemployed young adults ages 16-20. Participants spend half of their time getting paid work experience on a construction site building low-income housing units. The other half of their time is spent in the classroom working toward earning a high school diploma. After completing the program, students can earn an AmeriCorps Education Award to use toward their post-secondary education.
YouthBuild participants receive career and college readiness training, leadership development, service learning opportunities, civic engagement activities, life skills and healthy lifestyle classes. Additionally, they get intensive career and post-secondary education placement assistance after finishing their term, as well as one year of intensive follow-up services.
For more than a decade, MHYC and Denver Public Schools partnered to provide GED classes for YouthBuild participants. In recent years, MHYC wanted to do more to support youth through educational opportunities, and after years of planning, MHYC helped launch RiseUp Community School! Because of this partnership, RiseUp is strongly tied to the community, to the vision of serving youth, and to the important work of creating opportunities through education. Once students are enrolled in RiseUp, they then have the opportunity to enroll in the YouthBuild program simultaneously.
Unlike most traditional schools, RiseUp is dedicated to ensuring that each student is given the opportunity to excel with all of the necessary skills to be an active participant in their community. Each student is held to high expectations and is inspired to obtain a high school diploma and prepare for college and careers after graduation. Additionally, every student is given a case manager and advisor to work with throughout their time to help students set and meet their personal and professional goals.
To allow students to meet family and work obligations in addition to their educational responsibilities, RiseUp offers two different schedules for students: either from 8am-2pm and from 10am-4pm. All of the classes at RiseUp are six weeks long, allowing students to earn credits at an accelerated rate without a drop in the course quality.
Each YouthBuild and RiseUp graduate will show mastery in three different areas:
- Higher Order Thinking: Students go beyond memorization of facts and apply what they learn in real world situations.
- Social Responsibility: Students recognize and address issues in order to better their communities.
- Post-Secondary Readiness: Every student develops a personal road map to meet their goals for the future.
YouthBuild and RiseUp Community School are excited to have opened our doors this month to start helping students create the lives they want!
Contributed by Paul Richards and Katie Davis