Why YouthBuild’s CEO Believes a New School in Providence is Needed
Friday, July 17, 2020
Currently, YouthBuild Preparatory Academy is an umbrella organization that is authorized to operate both a school and a YouthBuild program (YouthBuild Providence).
YouthBuild Providence has been operating for 20+ years and is one of the longest continuously operating YouthBuild programs in the country. YouthBuild Providence is known for its proven combination of integrated academics, industry-standard construction skills, personalized leadership development, and support for participants both during the program and as they complete it and move into gainful employment in their community.
“So we have an organization — Youth Build Providence — which is a traditional workforce development program engaging young people who left school prior to earning a high school diploma,” said Hubbard.
“We historically have been teaching them construction skills — they build affordable housing. Our newest initiative started back in 2015, when I was working with a group of young men to create a school, because they felt their needs were not being met in the traditional school system,” he said.
“We realize that many young people leave school not because of academic ability, but because life has gotten in the way, and so it’s important to us to help alleviate some of those issues, really around social-emotional wellness and mental health issues,” Hubbard added.
Hubbard said they program has close to 700 graduates — but that an actual charter school is needed to move the program forward.
“We have already diversified our offerings — you know, construction was the flagship when Youth Build was started in the ‘70s. We’ve already branched off into tech,” said Hubbard. “Tech, culinary, hospitality, allied health — we’ve already started diversifying our portfolio of workforce pathways.”
“We’re just waiting for the opportunity to really expand our capacity as a program, and that’s why we’re working to so hard to get the school authorized,” he said.
YouthBuild Providence CEO Anthony Hubbard says that he believes their proposal for a new charter school in Providence is needed now more than ever, in light of education and training needs in the city.
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