Our YouthBuild program offers young people the opportunity to not only earn their High School Diploma or GED but also prepares them for the workforce. Students acquire the knowledge and skills to work in construction industry.
Members may choose to earn their high school diploma through our partnership with the Broady Academy, an on-line high school recovery program.
At SA Youth, we create an environment where young people and staff can learn, feel valued and grow in their self-development and leadership. SA Youth provides many opportunities for young adults to become engaged and learn how to be effective leaders.
We emphasize leadership development in SA Youth for four reasons:
- The future of our society and all our communities depends on having more ethical and effective leaders.
- Every youth program and school would itself be improved if governed with real input from young people.
- Leadership can engage young people intensely and deeply, liberating their own best energies.
- Real decision-making responsibility can help heal two deep wounds of young people: Low self-esteem due to consistent invalidation of their intelligence; and feelings of powerlessness, and the companion anger, due to being raised in a thoroughly adult-dominated world, which has not listened to the ideas of young people.
Every Friday, SA Youth staff and our student-led Leadership Council plan a leadership training day where special programs are developed and implemented that center around the principles of leadership.
While in our program, participants have the opportunity to serve on a Leadership Council. The Council is elected from the SA Youth YouthBuild population and meets with the staff each week. The Council is charged with making important decisions about the YouthBuild. Decisions include disciplinary actions, community service programs, policy decisions, and other programmatic decisions.
Using YouthBuild USA’s Blueprint for Democracy curriculum, participants learn how to be civic-minded individuals. The curriculum is designed specifically to address the needs and attitudes of low-income youth, including alienation from politics and politicians; the legal status of former felons; and issues affecting poor people such as welfare policies, civil rights policies, and campaign finance reform. Activities ask teachers to start with the students’ experiences, feelings, knowledge, and concerns.
We believe communities are made stronger when we all come together to help our neighbors for the common good. Therefore, community service is a key component of our YouthBuild program. Year round, students are actively involved in community service learning throughout the city. Volunteer projects include serving food to the homeless, working at the San Antonio Food Bank, building wheel chair ramps for the disabled, repairing an elderly person’s home or painting a fence, among other projects.
Community service connects students to their communities through “doing,” and leaves them with a wonderful sense of satisfaction, knowing that they’ve made life a little brighter for someone else.
All YouthBuild students receive the support and guidance of a full-time case manager who helps them find resources such as food, housing, rental assistance and access to other social service programs if needed. The case manager also works with students to help place them in full-time jobs compatible with their interests and skills.
SA Youth has a part-time counselor on site for students in need of individual, family and/or career counseling. All services are free to students.