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Lewis and Clark Community College Building Futures YouthBuild Receives $159,459 AmeriCorps Funding from National YouthBuild USA Grant

Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Media Services, linlow@lc.edu

Lewis and Clark Community CollegeALTON – June 23, 2021 — In recognition of its continued service to opportunity youth, Lewis and Clark Community College Building Futures YouthBuild has been awarded $99,400 in AmeriCorps funding and $60,059.24 in available education award for service members from a national YouthBuild USA grant, helping young people build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to long-term professional and personal success.

L&C Building Futures YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth — young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor employed — to reclaim their education, gain job skills and become leaders in the community.

Building Futures is a construction-plus program that offers education, leadership and workforce training in construction, information technology, transportation, distribution and logistics. As an Americorps funded site, members perform 450 hours of service in our community yearly.

This grant is one of 65 AmeriCorps awards provided by YouthBuild USA – the nonprofit support center for YouthBuild programs across the country – to various YouthBuild programs in the U.S. The funding is made possible by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and community volunteerism, and will support 33 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members annually in L&C Building Futures YouthBuild.

These young people will build affordable housing and provide community healthcare, conservation efforts, recycling and sustainability, computer infrastructure and child development services for individuals and families in the region.

“I like to work and it is a great life experience, I have learned a bunch of different skills,” said Student Alec Schultze, 22. “I have really enjoyed learning how to build using concrete and drywall. It is really rewarding to help remodel a home for a low-income family in my community.”

Through the grants, more than 1 million direct service hours will be completed by the members, and at least 350 units of affordable housing will be made available for low income individuals and families.

“Since 2013, we have been afforded the opportunity to not only impact our service members through education awards that allow them to continue their educational goals, but we have also impacted our community through numerous service projects that will benefit generations to come,” said Sabrina Davis, director of Pathway Resource Development. “I am very proud of how hard our members and our staff work to be a place where systemic change can take place for families.”

“AmeriCorps is dedicated to creating a more united and equitable future for all Americans,” said Sonali Nijhawan, director of AmeriCorps State and National. “I’m proud to announce new funding that will elevate this work by supporting more AmeriCorps members for YouthBuild USA. I appreciate all of our AmeriCorps members – past, present, and future – for their dedication. As an AmeriCorps alumna myself, I know tomorrow looks a little brighter because they pledged to “get things done for America.”

In addition, $4.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards are provided for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive awards they can use to pay for post-secondary education and future job training activities.

“AmeriCorps’ partnership with YouthBuild USA has enabled tens of thousands of opportunity youth across the country to build the next greatest version of themselves,” said John Valverde, president and CEO of YouthBuild USA. “As we make our way out of the pandemic, these young people will be leading the way, rebuilding our communities and reclaiming our stake in each other. With access to an education and a support system of people who believe in them, there is nothing they cannot accomplish. All of us at YouthBuild USA are very grateful for our longstanding partnership with AmeriCorps, which has resulted in decades of service and the building of many bright futures.”

In YouthBuild programs across the country, opportunity youth pursue their education, prepare for future careers and grow into community leaders, building brighter futures for themselves and their neighborhoods. Responding to the urgent need for knowledge, training and opportunity, YouthBuild primarily serves young people who lack a high school diploma and financial resources.

YouthBuildAbout L&C Building Futures YouthBuild

L&C’s program is designed to serve out of school youth, 16-24 years of age. YouthBuild is a unique, contextualized career pathway program designed to prepare young adults to take the GED®/High School Equivalency (HSE) exam or complete their high school diploma while gaining skills in construction, information technology, or CNA.

YouthBuild functions as an AmeriCorps network affiliate member. The AmeriCorps component of YouthBuild provides students with leadership opportunities while earning money for education and developing an appreciation for citizenship through service learning activities within the community.

About YouthBuild USA

With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood, and leadership. At nearly 300 YouthBuild programs across the United States and around the world, students reclaim their education, gain job skills, and become leaders in their communities. To date, YouthBuild has partnered with more than 180,000 young people to dedicate over 50 million hours of service benefitting urban, rural, and tribal communities. YouthBuild strives to create a world where all young people are seen for their potential, and power to transform themselves and their communities. YouthBuild USA – the support center for the YouthBuild movement – strengthens YouthBuild programs through technical assistance, leadership development, innovative program enhancements, and advocacy. YouthBuild programs located outside of the United States are supported by YouthBuild USA’s international division, YouthBuild International.

For more information about the YouthBuild movement, YouthBuild USA, and YouthBuild International, visit YouthBuild.org.

About AmeriCorps

For the past year, thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic. Dedicated members have persisted to support communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.

The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the county’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation.