Hi, my name is Marcus Diaz. I am a student at the Worcester YouthBuild Program. I joined YouthBuild last year because I was unable to pass my MCAS test while attending the Worcester Public Schools. YouthBuild gave me an opportunity to continue my education and to learn construction. When I was in the Public Schools I had some great teachers who really cared about me, BUT I had many others who did not. Many teachers gave up on me because I couldn’t read and write up to their standards. They knew that I would never be able to pass the MCAS test. In many ways, they just stopped teaching me.
YouthBuild, is much different. My first day at YouthBuild, I was welcomed with open arms. They had me take a TABE test, and told me just to try my best and not to worry. My test scores were very low. I tested in at 3rd grade in both Math and Reading. I was worried that YouthBuild would quit on me, just like everyone else had. But they didn’t quit on me, they continued to challenge me.
My instructor at YouthBuild, Francis, had me attend Math class twice a day, had me reading books, and writing essays. I put in the work, and when YouthBuild re-tested me I tested at an 8th grade level in both math and reading!
YouthBuild believed in me, and now I believe in myself. It’s true that I have an IEP and difficulty learning. But I am not defined by that, I am defined by how hard I work, and how I treat others!
I am taking my HiSET exam in April- I might not pass. But that’s OK, because I know that YouthBuild has my back, that YOU ALL have my back and that one day I will pass my HiSET. I will go into the Union and I will accomplish all of my goals. We need more money for YouthBuild, so they can continue to help people like you and me!