YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School offers a unique, one-year program that provides high school dropouts a chance to earn their diplomas while learning vital job skills and engaging in valuable community service. Just over 200 young men and women between the ages of 18 and 21 attend YouthBuild, which is located on Broad Street, just north of Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.
Christian, Alonzo, and Anthony each have experienced hardship in their young lives, but with YouthBuild’s encouragement and well-structured one-year program, they have been able to concentrate on their studies while also developing marketable skills that will help ensure gainful employment. Along with their fellow students, they attend class and devote several hours each week to on-the-job training. Here at SHARE, these friendly and focused young men are learning to use equipment, discovering the basics of retail marketing, and coming to terms with the value of following instructions to complete their assigned tasks.SHARE’s Executive Director Steveanna Wynn practices tough loves when it comes to the YouthBuild students. If they complain about having to walk quickly through the vast warehouse spaces, she points out that although old enough to be their grandmom, she makes that same trek several times each day, no matter how low the temperature dips. And last September, when Mother Nature decided to offer up a few final scorching days, Steveanna insisted that vegetable harvesting continue, despite the intense heat. These are lessons well learned—that completing what is expected of you is not optional.
YouthBuild has three core values: excellence, respect, and perseverance. The school believes that every student, regardless of his or her past, can embrace these values and achieve anything. SHARE is honored to be helping these students realize their potential, and is grateful for the contribution they are making to reducing hunger among the region’s low-income households.