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Stories - YouthBuild

Monday, August 8, 2016
  Anthony Royster is on top of the world – literally as an iron worker stationed on the Verrazano Bridge, and figuratively with a happy and loving family at home – but it wasn’t always this way. Anthony grew up in a single-parent home in Wyandanch, with an older sister and two younger brothers where physical and mental abuse was commonplace. Without positive role models in his life, he searched for an escape, but was led down the wrong path where he was later arrested and incarcerated. Upon his release, Anthony realized he needed to turn his life around. He had heard about United Way of Long... Read more
Friday, April 29, 2016
Meet Kya Kearney, one of 50 students who decided to take hold of his future by enrolling in United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild program – class of 2016. This life-changing opportunity offers youth who are facing challenges a chance to rebuild their lives with hope and promise for a brighter tomorrow. Kya traveled a long road before finding his seat in the YouthBuild classroom. Upon discovering that his father had kidney disease, Kya’s family decided to travel in a small RV, moving from trailer parks to campsites, in search of a medical cure. The struggles mounted when the RV became... Read more
Thursday, March 10, 2016
  When Ivan Rodriguez’s family fell on hard times, he dropped out of high school to support them by working. But when he could not find a job, he turned to desperate measures to make ends meet. He was arrested and incarcerated, and immediately decided to turn his life around. Ivan enrolled in United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild program and has since taken the Long Island community by storm. Acting as a true ambassador of the program, Ivan has presented YouthBuild to people across the community, invoking true emotion—both laughter and tears—to demonstrate the importance of the program and... Read more