YouthBuild Changes Lives


"I'm proud of myself for finishing something I started; I made the right choice coming to YouthBuild.”

YouthBuild is an alternative high school and job skill training program hosted locally. After each ten month "session" students complete a capstone project for which they research, plan, and implement a community service project of their own choosing. 


One student completing this session is Maranda. She found herself coming to ReSOURCE after having some trouble at school - failing grades and disagreements with classmates - she knew something had to change. That’s when she heard about YouthBuild. ReSOURCE YouthBuild is an option for students who ere not succesful in traditional high school. Maranda and her YouthBuild classmates pursued their high school diplomas while learning construction trade and real world skills. The students’ studies include community service, construction work, and their final capstone project. For their capstones, students chose their own topics and conducted individual research out in the field. The topics included Vermont Refugees by AJ, Police Brutality by Ian & Bobby, Sleep Deprivation by Matt, Apocalyptic Theories by Derek, and Skate Park Influence by Maranda.


Maranda’s thesis was that more skate parks in the community lead to a reduction in drug use. Her research nvolved conducting surveys at local skate parks where sheasked participants about drug use they have seen or experienced. Maranda said that conducting the research taught her about asking the right questions and how to better weed out the dishonest answers.


Maranda’s love for skateboarding also inspired her to craft her own longboard using some of the construction skills she learned in YouthBuild. “It took a lot of work but I loved making the board.” The deck was made of plywood that she sanded, pressed and painted herself. The wheels and axels were purchased. ReSOURCE and YouthBuild helped Maranda reach her full potential. "I'm proud of myself for finishing something I started; I made the right choice coming to YouthBuild.”


Her father, Daniel, was also impressed. “The schools didn’t want to help but ReSOURCE and YouthBuild took the time. There should be a ReSOURCE center in every city.” He went on to say that YouthBuild improved her behavior and outlook on life.


Meg Smith, the Director of the Vermont Women’s Fund, was in attendance for the presentations. A grant from the VWF enabled ReSOURCE to recruit more women to the YouthBuild program. Smith is excited about YouthBuild and believes it opens up opportunities for young women and men to feel a sense of accomplishment. “Construction is a very male dominant trade and we aim to see more women participate, especially in leadership roles.” All of the students remarked how YouthBuild changed their lives for the better by teaching them communication, responsibility and the value of hard work.


Awareness is the next challenge for YouthBuild and ReSOURCE. ReSOURCE wants to help more young women who are taking a nontraditional path to education see what YouthBuild can do for them. It is the combined effort between the different teaching elements that is truly transformative and why so many of the youth graduating from YouthBuild describe the program as life-saving.


YouthBuild is now recruiting new students! Call 658-4143 for details.