This year’s Worcester YouthBuild started in January with 28 students competing for 17 slots in YouthBuild classroom. They all entered what is known as Mental Toughness (MT), three weeks of growing together as a family, and proving that we can handle the challenges that will come our way over the next ten months. During this time if students are even one minute late for class they are removed from the running as a YouthBuild student. Students participated in classroom team building activities, field trips in the Worcester area, TABE testing, OSHA 10 training and basic academics. After three weeks, 17 students earned their way into the YouthBuild program. They received a certificate of achievement for completing Mental Toughness, a Tool Box, basic hand tools and work boots.
After completing MT, YouthBuild students were split into two groups that are alternating between the worksite and the classroom every other week. Worcester YouthBuild is partnering with Matthew 25, a non-profit organization, helping to renovate a 2-family home located at 3 Benefit Terrace in Worcester that will be rented to two low-income families upon completion. In the classroom, students have started to prepare for the High School Equivalency certification (HiSET) exams and also started working on their individual Quarter One classroom project. All students are required to complete a classroom project each quarter in order to graduate from Worcester YouthBuild. So far, each student has completed a project on Martin Luther King and presented a research project on a topic of their choice in the form of a PowerPoint.
Students also participated in the Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition State House Day. Worcester YouthBuild students met with their State Senators and Representatives to share their stories, emphasize the value and significance of YouthBuild programming, and ask for continued support of YouthBuild.
YouthBuilder Troy Robinson led Worcester YouthBuild in its pledge:
We the members of Worcester YouthBuild,
Pledge to work together,
To improve our lives,
Rebuild our Community,
And develop our potential as Leaders.
We will represent YouthBuild and ourselves
By always treating others with respect,
And being positive role models within our community
We are Worcester YouthBuild!
YouthBuild students are also making great progress on the worksite. Under the guidance of their construction supervisor Gerald Siplas, students have begun installing CertainTeed siding and have fire blocked the entire house. They have replaced all the windows and helped build dormers on the third floor. Our goal to finish one of the units by the end of this summer and continue to make a positive impact in the Worcester community!