“I used to be a menace to my community; now I am a minister to it,” says Antoine Bennett, reflecting on the impact that the YouthBuild program has had on his life.
More than 90 percent of YouthBuild participants have left high school without a diploma. The program helps them get their lives back on track, finish high school, and contribute to their communities. Since 1992, more than 130,000 young people from 270 communities across the United States have benefited from the program.
A new report, “Don’t Call Them Dropouts,” explains why people leave school: violence, abuse, poverty, under-resourced school systems, and poor networks of peer and family support.
More investment is needed in school systems, especially in poor communities where the high school graduation rate can be as low as 60 percent. As YouthBuild founder Dorothy Stoneman writes in this recent Huffington Post op-ed, with sufficient investment…
“The rewards to our nation will be enormous! Less violence, less dependency, less pain and shame; more responsibility, more productivity, more family and community coherence, more pride. The cultural impact will be enormous, and the return on investment will be substantial.”
Read the rest of the op-ed by Dorothy Stoneman.
Listen to YouthBuild participants DeAnte Andrews and Cameron Achiele talk about the program