Two Job Point YouthBuild students were selected to join more than 80 other young leaders in Washington, D.C., to further develop their leadership skills and network with current and former students from YouthBuild programs across the country. Monesha Johnson participated in the 31st Annual YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders during the week of June 3, 2019. Additionally, Job Point YouthBuild graduate Brianna Logan was invited to serve as a team leader, after attending an alumni conference earlier this year. In April, Logan was one of 50 YouthBuild graduates from across the country who traveled to Washington, D.C. for a two-day alumni gathering focused on leadership, financial literacy and personal branding, culminating with visits to legislators on Capitol Hill.
The YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders (CoYL) brings together young people from across the country to fully experience the breadth and impact of YouthBuild’s global movement rooted in leadership, service, education and workforce training. The young people shared their experiences with each other and participated in workshops on understanding substance abuse and its impact on long-term success, building healthy relationships, developing financial capability skills, identifying leadership styles and personal branding. Delegates like Johnson are chosen to attend by their fellow students and local YouthBuild program staff.
“YouthBuild students are full of promise and – when given the opportunity coupled with support from caring adults – they can go on to do great things,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA, who addressed the students at the conference. “Our Conference of Young Leaders shows young people that they are part of something larger than themselves. It gives them the confidence that they have the skillsets, mindsets and partners to return home and make a significant impact on their communities.”
A new addition to the Conference this year was the Service Impact Fair, where students highlighted their service to community through pictures, videos and stories during a science-fair-style event. The presentations told the story of the service they provided, the impact they’ve had on their community and what they learned during their time at YouthBuild.
Jerrell Morton, Director of Job Point YouthBuild said, “Over the years CoYL has grown to become a prized accolade for YouthBuild students. Students are selected by staff because they have demonstrated leadership, integrity, and the willingness to challenge their fears in order to carry the program’s message all the way to the steps Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. This year we were honored to have multiple YB students in attendance representing the strength of our YouthBuild program, who were tasked with the responsibility of carrying our message to State Representative Vicky Hartzler, Senator Josh Hawley, and Senator Roy Blunt. They carried the voices of our Boone County community youth, echoing the need for continued funding for YouthBuild programs across the country.”
“My experience at CoYL was so fun. I was excited, joyful, appreciative and happy that I met with such amazing people. As for my peers from different YouthBuild programs, from different states, YOUTHBUILD!!” said Johnson. Logan said, “Overall it was great experience, I am very thankful to have learned what I did and meet new people and to be able to take home what I learned to the rest of my community.”
Job Point’s YouthBuild program is one of 252 local programs across the U.S. that help unemployed and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 attain their High School Equivalency (HSE) or high school diploma. During that time, they also learn career skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods while engaging in community service and leadership training. Graduates leave prepared for success in post-secondary education, careers and registered apprenticeships — and as a part of a strong and supportive global community.
About YouthBuild USA
YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for 300 local YouthBuild programs operating in 21 countries, with 252 programs in 46 U.S. states and 48 programs in 20 other countries. In YouthBuild programs, unemployed, low-income, and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 work toward their high school diploma or equivalency, while learning job skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service and leadership training. Proven effective by the most rigorous program evaluation research, YouthBuild’s comprehensive model gives graduates the confidence and tools they need to become strong, responsible and ethical young leaders. For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org.
About Job Point’s YouthBuild program
Job Point’s YouthBuild grant will assist 67 at-risk young adults to advance educational levels, develop leadership abilities, and obtain skills training in the construction field, while building new homes in our community’s most impoverished neighborhoods and improving infrastructure by maintaining and repairing roadways. The program will address the core issues facing our communities of poverty, graduation rates, unemployment, crime rates and safe, affordable housing. The primary target population is high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, young people aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth and other disconnected youth populations between the ages of 16 to 24. The project places a priority on serving females with or without children, as well as veterans and their spouses. As a result, two single-family homes will be built utilizing green technologies, then sold to income-eligible individuals or families with down payment assistance available through partnership with the City of Columbia.
Job Point is Missouri’s premier employment center and Community Development Corporation. Since 1965, we have been linking people and jobs by providing career planning and job placement assistance. We specialize in preparing individuals to enter the workforce, while meeting a critical need of the business community. The organization is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, with locations in Marshall, Moberly and Sedalia. For information about programs, services and locations please call 573/474-8560. Employers interested in hiring graduates may post job openings at: www.jobpointmo.org/postjob.htm.