YouthBuild North Shore members are currently enrolled in a weatherization course through a partnership with North Shore Community College and Essex Tech High School. Here the students are in class in the beautiful & state of the art Carpentry shop at Essex Tech!
After battling the snowy weather, the YB Class of 2015 completed Mental Toughness Training a week late and celebrated the the young people who are successfully entering this class. One of the final events is the Toast For Change, where each student dedicates their year to leaving the past behind and moving toward a productive future. Don't worry, the toast is sparkling cider!
Watch the video that captures their jubilation by clicking here.
Recently, Hampden County legislators were invited to listen and engage with youth providers, young people and employers around workforce development and state funded youth programs by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. This round table discussion let young people voice their struggles to their legislators.
State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke), who has visited the YouthBuild program, told the audience that we can no longer work in silos and to be more collaborative inter-agency or by region.
Members of the YWCA YouthBuild Springfield program participated in this event that focused on connecting youth with career opportunities. This was a chance for legislators to get to know youth providers and the youth in the programs and gain an understanding of their needs.
The challenges in finding employment as youth was one of the topics that was discussed.
A very important subject that was also discussed was, "How funding from the state can help with increased with internship and job opportunities for youth." The legislators were very receptive to the ideas that they hearing, that will help to guide them when they return to the State House.
The students from YWCA YouthBuild Springfield learned an important lesson in leadership and came to the realization that their voices can be heard.
Mental Toughness Training is a period of orientation for students wishing to enter a YouthBuild program. They are exposed to a number of activities designed to prepare them for YouthBuild while determining their readiness to undertake this adventure. Although every site has a Mental Toughness portion, each individual program designs the activities to meet their own needs for a period of at least two weeks. At YouthBuild North Shore, one of the key activities is CPR-First Aid training for all potential students. Not only do they learn a skill that will come in handy if there is an emergency on-the-job or at home, they also acquire the credential that is important to potential employers.
During Mental Toughness, potential members explore all 5 of the YouthBuild components. Here, potential members are paired up and tasked with developing their own mini-communities. Through this exercise, they learn about all of the pieces that come together to make a community and how even the smallest park, company, or service can have a large and lasting impact on everyone and everything.
All of the activities that take place during Mental Toughness have a real meaning for the success that the young person can achieve in the program. They may not always understand that concept right away, but staff will often hear, later in the program, "That's why we did that activity in Mental Toughness."