New Jersey residents between the ages of 16 and 24 who left high school before finishing aren’t necessarily out of luck or out of the running. YouthBuild can help some of them earn a degree and master pre-apprentice construction industry skills — including OSHA and CPR/first aid training — thanks to its on-the-job building projects.
YouthBuild, which is funded by public and nonprofit money, held an emotional graduation ceremony yesterday.
After letting the streets take over in his youth, 21-year-old Corey Boyd never gave up.
“I didn’t expect to be here, honestly, because I came here last year and I went to jail. I almost gave up. I came back and YouthBuild help me push myself more and more,” Boyd said.
“Today we celebrate this wonderful group of young people having worked extraordinarily hard over this past year, having crossed many, many obstacles, and having gotten to this date because they said that I want to succeed,” said Robert Guarasci, founder and CEO of the New Jersey Community Development Corp.
But Youthbuild is only a stop along the way for some of its graduates.
Boyd, for example, is in community college working toward a psychology degree.
“I want to be able to help kids realize the street’s not where it’s at. They don’t know what they’re headed for in life, and I’ve been through it and that’s not what they need,” he said.
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