CTI YouthBuild Lowell has come a long way in this past year, from moving to their new home located at 167 Dutton Street in March 2012 to adjusting to a new environment. Students and staff were challenged in a wide variety of ways. YouthBuild Lowell students were able to regularly maintain the North Commons and participate in the building of the Amphitheater. For Martin Luther King day students partnered with Milly’s Place building storage area and providing light carpentry maintenance and improvements. Students also boarded up and cleared hazardous vacant single family home. The property was brought to compliance with the City of Lowell building codes. This is only a fraction of the tasks assigned throughout the year. Through all these projects and activities YouthBuild students and staff responded well with perseverance and flexibility. They were open minded, motivated, and ready to make change.
As the summer months creep its way through it became time for CTI YouthBuild Lowell’s graduating class of 2012 to make their way across the stage. This year’s graduation was held at Stocklas Middle School from 5:00-7:00PM. City Council member Reda Mersea was the honorary speaker. Special awards were presented in the areas of best academic achievement, construction, and student of the year. Young student Jessee Morales was recognized for his outstanding construction skills and leadership throughout the year.
CTI YouthBuild Lowell is honored to have such a great class and is proud of the talented young people they have become. As a Coalition we are happy to see great capacity building and growth in knowledge, wisdom and experience. Congratulations to CIT YouthBuild Lowell on a job well done. Keep hold of your attributes to success you have acquired throughout the year. Having a positive attitude and being a leader will come in handy and can be used to your advantage in life and the coming school year.
In a community that has struggled through many barriers to success, we would like to take the time to highlight their accomplishments. Located in the Essex County of northeastern Massachusetts lies an alternative education program called YouthBuild Lawrence. This unique program not only strives to be the change you want to see in the world, but also to build yourself while in your community.
YouthBuild helps supports youth age 16-24 to change their life path. They not only assist with academic achievement in obtaining a GED or diploma , but also job placement, constructions kills, education credentials and youth professional development. 50% of the student’s time is spent receiving on-site training. This year’s YouthBuild graduates were the core foundation in revitalizing a low-income resident house in the city of Lawrence. Friday, June 28, 2012 was a glorious day in the city of Lawrence. YouthBuild graduated twenty-two students at the Lawrence Family Development Charter School on 34 West Street. Staff, family and friends gathered together for their support.
One of the highlights of the day’s ceremony was when Stefan Nutter, shy and quiet young man stepped out of his shell to speak in front of his classmates, friends, and family. His mother was so proud in the back of the room that she yelled “that’s my boy, Stefan! I love you!” Stefan replied, “I love you mommy”. Prior to the ceremony YouthBuild staff organized a Hispanic dinner of Spanish rice and chicken with refreshments and a graduate congratulations cake to celebrate the accomplishments of the students.
Guest speaker, Carlos Campos, a local entrepreneur was able to come and speak to the graduates. Awards were announced in categories such as outstanding leadership and most improved students. We are so proud of everyone’s hard work and dedication. An Indian monk, Swami Vivekananda once gave some words of wisdom, he said “Take one idea, make that idea your life- think of it, dream of it, live on that
idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. The Coalition wishes YouthBuild Lawrence the best success for their future.
To recognize the improvements and accomplishments of Stone Soup since the electrical fire in 2009, Stone Soup had their ground breaking celebration. For those of you who are not familiar with this nonprofit organization you should know that Stone Soup is a community center located in Worcester MA at 4 King Street. This community Center is home to six nonprofit organizations that play a vital role in the Worcester community and throughout Massachusetts.
On Wednesday July 26, 2012 five YouthBuild programs from Massachusetts, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, as well as Job Corps teamed together to volunteer community service to the center. Students and volunteers worked on removing fire soot of the walls in the community center, restoring damaged wood pieces, and caulking window insulation.
Project Superintendent, Tim Tudor and Greg Mumford, Deputy Director of YouthBuild Boston took time present background history of the building and tour of the site. The Stone Soup Community Center is a historic house that dates back to 1886. TRA YouthBuild Worcester graduate and worker at Stone Soup, Tyrell Taylor assigned group tasks for the day, showed examples, and explained the impact of this work. Working together to better the community is what we do. Our aim is not to just work on projects. We are here to set examples and to be the difference in our communities.
Later that afternoon numbers began to multiply. Members from the community, public officials, and other organizations came to support the revitalization of the Stone Soup Community Center. Music and appetizers were provided as guests were given time network and get to know this community. Small group tours were given by YouthBuild Worcester graduates. Kicking off this celebration brought joy to the community and excitement for the progress of the center. We are grateful to all that came out and look forward the new Stone Soup Community Center to come.
*See Ground breaking photos on the home page*
In the fight to eliminate racism and empower women the YWCA of Western Massachusetts celebrated YouthBuild Springfield’s graduation. Graduating fourteen students ages 17-24 on Thursday June 14, 2012 at “The Ceadars” in Springfield Massachusetts, classmates, staff, friends, and family gathered to support and celebrate their accomplishments. YouthBuild Springfield also recognized community development in building affordable housing for low-income families. They honored young students obtaining their GED’s and helping young people to enter post-secondary education. Building career pathways and finding employment opportunities was also highlighted.
YouthBuild Springfield has committed to volunteering over eight thousand hours of community service. From the staff, to students, and families, you all have made a tremendous impact on society and will continue to grow through their shared experiences and learning. Now it’s time for our graduated to make another step forward. You are encouraged to become the best version of yourself and set examples along the way. As Dr. Seuss once said “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the one who’ll decide where to go.”