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YouthBuild is a comprehensive youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses several core issues facing lowincome communities: education, housing, jobs, and leadership development. It is based on the conviction that the energy and intelligence of young people need to be liberated and enlisted in solving the problems facing our society, and that low income young people are an untapped resource for solving the problems facing their own communities.

YouthBuild engages disconnected young men and women who have no apparent path to a productive future by teaching them basic academic, life, leadership, and employability skills through work on community housing rehabilitation projects coupled with attendance at a Youth Build alternative high school. Emphasis is placed on belonging to a positive peer group and developing leadership attitudes and skills that will benefit the community. The opportunity to build affordable housing gives young people the chance to play a visible constructive role that wins the respect and appreciation of the community. It immediately changes their identity and begins the process of personal change.

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Marion Pines

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Making Connections: Youth Program Strategies for a Generation of Challenge

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