I have been a YouthBuild supporter for nearly 20 years, have attended a number of YouthBuild events and met a number of the youth that YouthBuild is serving as well as adults that transformed their lives thanks to YouthBuild. In my view there is no other organization in the world that is better addressing our country’s ongoing and increasing loss of social/economic mobility, incredibly high rates of incarceration, increasing racism and lack of participation by a large part of our society in the American Dream. YouthBuild’s leadership is totally dedicated to its mission, operates at the highest level of integrity and transparency possible and is very concerned with the efficient use of its financial resources.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a supporter and now a Friend of YouthBuild for many years. I have heard the young people express the importance of YouthBuild in their lives. And I am an educator who worries about the future of the young people who pass through my classroom. We cannot waste the lives of so many. YouthBuild gives a second chance to those whom our system has failed. The young people who have the chance to join a YouthBuild project are given what they meed in tough love and support. They grow and build their confidence to become the poeple they can be and whom their community needs. this project tells me that there is hope. We must continue to invest in these young people. And expand the opportunity to the many of thousands who cannot yet be included.
My name is Francisco Medrano and I am a graduate of the MAAC Project youthbuild build program and also served on the National Youth Leaders Council and the National Alumni Council where I served as president for one term on each council. I also had the oppurtunity to serve on the Youbiuld USA board of directors. I am wring this review being a greatful alumni that thanks many of his acomplishments due to the many things that Youthbuld has installed in me. The leadership oppurtunities that youthbuild as given me are priceless and have path the way for me to get invvolved and become a leader in my community. Thanks to youthbuild I have completed my BA and also looking forward get my masters once I find a way to pay for it. I am still involved with referring young people to youthbuild as much as possible and also conitnue to work in the community with young people in the criminal justice system. One thing I would love youthbuild to do is be in every community. I also would want to express that one of my biggest goals now is to someday become a youthbuild director.
I have witnessed the transformative power of the Youthbuild Program for the past eighteen years. The national youth movement has been catalyzed by many of the Youthbuild graduates in their respective comunities due to the rigor and authenticity of the leadership development component of the program. Young adult have been able to take charge of their lives and re-direct previous negative attitudes and practice into becoming community leaders who have postively impacted the lives of other challenged youth. Take the time to attend a convening of the youth leaders and witness the power of love when it impacts the youth who has found his/her self-worth and positive inner voice. A Youthbuild Program in every community would begin to eradicate the number of young persons lost to gangs, violence, low education achievement and self destruction.
About 10 years ago I had the opportunity to meet with the New York City office of Youthbuild and group of young African-American men. I spoke to the group about the need for them to take responsibility for themselves and their families. I told them that I worked with incarcerated men in the system and also the formerly incarcerated. I told them that we were trying to find young men for our members to work with and provide guidance. When the meeting ended all of the young men asked about how they could be part of our program and gain the support of our men.
Over the past decades, I've meet dozens, maybe hundreds, or young people who have been through YouthBuild, and every personal story inspires me to help further. YouthBuild changes lives -- by both believing in the young people, and by providing a proven structure within which they can achieve, little by little, more and more until they truly believe in themselves as productive human beings and leaders. 20 years ago, I first learned of YouthBuild USA when our law firm, Goulston & Storrs, decided to become pro bono counsel after meeting founder Dorothy Stoneman. Since that time I've performed legal work and coordinated with others in my office, who uniformly speak with admiration about the professionalism of the organization. About 10 years ago I joined the Board. i have seen first hand a talented group of professionals who have a mission but also have very practical and disciplined ideas about putting the mission into practice.
YouthBuild USA, Inc. serves young people who have had difficulty "in the system" to find and realize their potential to be great and to do great things. It has been one of the great pleasures of my life to see the results of the work and hear these young men and women speak of how YouthBuild turned their lives around. It was especially thrilling to speak with young people who helped build homes for families in Mississippi who lost their homes during the Hurricane Katrina crisis. I like to say YouthBuild does good and it does it very well.
YouthBuild serves a population under-served in the United States and as such it is an important, really essential, component of our national portfolio of programs addressing disconnected youth. As a board member I have come to appreciate the depth of leadership and administration, much of it unknown to casual observers of this program. The involvement of young people on the national board is also quite special and keeps us adults grounded. I most admire the carefully honed program design yet flexibility to address new challenges and opportunities.
Having served on the YouthBuild USA Board of Directors for two decades, I am convinced that this organization is changing lives, rebuilding neighborhoods, and developing new young leaders for our nation every day. The YouthBuild leadership and staff are extraordinarily committed, and local YouthBuild programs across the country give young people a vitally important second chance to complete their education, acquire key job skills, and give back to their communities. YouthBuild is a national treasure, its potential limited only by the shortage of funds to drive expansion and serve the large numbers of young adults who now wait for the opportunity to enroll.
YouthBuild changed my life, if I hadn't found youthbuild I think I would still be sitting at one of my friends houses wishing something was going on. As a direct result of the help and support I got at YouthBuild I know have a job, I met a great guy (who actually wants something in life), I have a place to call home that I pay for, and I have had experiences I never could have dreamed of. I met the former first lady Mrs. Bush, talked to the mayor, traveled to Chicago for a conference, and been involved with numerous things around my community. I never knew there were people out there that could care for you without expecting something in return. I tell everyone I meet about YouthBuild and how great the experience is. It's not for everyone because you need to be dedicated, but that is the exact reason the program is pretty perfect. YouthBuild helps you help yourself there are no free passes and nobody brushes you off or passes you through just because, you earn everything you get and with that comes a sense of accomplishment I never felt.
YouthBuild USA is one of the most effective national non-profits in the US. Its founder, Dorothy Stoneman, combines all the best and necessary characteristics of a successful, effective leader: humility, courage, compassion, determination, collaboration, vision, and unabated energy. Ms. Stoneman has surrounded herself with top-flight advisors and executives that are highly respected within the legislature and the executive office of our nation. YouthBuild USA is unique among national non-profits for its uncanny ability to remain at the cutting edge of program innovation, marketing, and is perhaps best known for its insistence that its clients - youth participants - be invested in their own development and futures as well as the ongoing improvement and design of the programs they enroll in, including meaningful, and robust growth of YouthBuild USA as an agency. YouthBuild USA has delivered wonderfully for us here in Fresno, CA. As founding Director of the YouthBuild Fresno program (1995) we are honored to be a part of the national YouthBuild network and have benefited greatly from the aggressive, resource development YouthBuild USA makes available to its cadre of affiliated and accredited programs.
With a miniscule amount of funding, YouthBuild USA has won millions of dollars for independent YouthBuild programs around the country--programs that combine work experience and education to give at-risk youth the two things they most need in order to succeed. Having spent 35 years working on youth programs and criminal-justice reform, I can confidently say that the YouthBuild programs are based on the best current evidence for what works. Contributing to YouthBuild USA truly contributes to saving lives and creating productive citizens.