YouthBuild has assisted more than 50 at risk youth in obtaining their high school diploma and job training in the construction field. The graduating class of 2012 has assisted with the renovation of more than three homes in Central Florida.
YouthBuild Director Jennifer Taylor said, “It is amazing to see what potential these young people have if they are given a chance. They are not only learning life skills but they are also learning the importance of obtaining an education.”
One graduate obtained full-time employment with Delphini Construction and one graduate has obtained part-time employment with Coastal Plant Brokers. This is the first time two graduates have been hired before completing the program.
The cost to train one YouthBuild student is $18,000 while the cost to house one inmate in a Florida state prison is $19,000 per year.
“The math is simple,” says Taylor, “We can either invest in our young people now, or later. We are thankful to the community for the outpouring of support over these past six years. Unfortunately, due to a decrease in funding, this will most likely be the last graduating class for Sanford/Seminole County YouthBuild.”
YouthBuild began in 2007 through a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program is currently funded by a $200,000 grant provided through the U.S. Department of Labor that will expire in June 28.
Taylor said YouthBuild has applied for funding this year, however the U.S. Department of Labor has announced it will only fund 75 of the 300 current programs. With the odds against them, YouthBuild may have to shut down the successful program.
Currently the program takes about $300,000 to operate per year.
Those interested in donating to the YouthBuild program should contact Jennifer Taylor at 407-402-4289 or email@example.com. The program operates as a non-profit 501C3 and donations are tax deductible.