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Stories - YouthBuild

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Friday, October 18, 2019
La’Kasha Patricia Michels Memorial Scholarship RecipientYouthBuild Graduate La’Kasha is a career-focused, compassionate, patient and adaptable young woman. She entered YouthBuild Long Island to improve her education qualifications and career training. Currently, she has secured her TASC high school equivalency diploma and plans on attending college for a nursing degree.    The road has not been easy for La’Kasha; pursuing higher education means navigating through a tight schedule at home, caring for her children, in order to complete the required training hours. She is relentless in her... Read more
Friday, October 18, 2019
Tahjaray Patricia Michels Memorial Scholarship RecipientYouthBuild Graduate   Tahjaray is no stranger to challenges or adversities. She has faced several in her lifetime but always came out stronger than she was before. She moved from Virginia to New York to provide a better life for herself and her son.    The search for an improved quality of life led her to YouthBuild Long Island. Her goal was to gain her TASC high school equivalency diploma because, without it, college was not possible and her job prospects were few.     The YouthBuild curriculum and activities brought out the best in... Read more
Thursday, August 22, 2019
JoshYouthBuild AlumniCollege Graduate, B.S. in Business Management Josh knows not to take anything he has in life for granted. He grew up in the foster care system with his twin and older brothers, and was eventually adopted into an already large family. He remembers with a smile, “The house was almost never quiet, with a lot of people always going in and out.”    While he did not know his father, Josh was in a supportive family environment. He developed a tight knit relationship with both his biological and adoptive mothers, as well as his uncle who he looked up to as a father figure. He... Read more
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
David, YouthBuild GraduateCurrent Occupation: Electrician in Training David, a recent graduate of YouthBuild Long Island, knows the struggle of trying to escape a cycle of poor decisions. He remembers being unsure of his future, not sure where to turn and feeling deeply depressed with his purpose in life. He remembers thinking, “I need to get help, and if I don’t get help now, it’s going to be too late.” Growing up with a single mother and two siblings, David recalls trying to take on adult responsibilities as a child in order to compensate for his absentee father. However, this led to poor... Read more
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
When Blair found YouthBuild Long Island, he was struggling to find a place for himself. At the age of 25, he had been volunteering with local organizations, trying to give back to his hometown of Uniondale, but wanted to do more. “I didn’t really know where I wanted to go in life,” he remembers. “Everything I was doing wasn’t totally fulfilling, I wanted to reach out and help people… that was my passion.”   When his father told him about YouthBuild, he recognized the rare opportunity that had been presented to him – the chance to change his life and be in a position to help others. It was the... Read more
Thursday, March 8, 2018
As a young man, Corey fell into the wrong crowd and got into trouble. What started out as minor transgressions developed into criminal behavior that led him to incarceration before he graduated high school. He was released and completed high school, but his attitude led him down a dangerous path. After learning about United Way’s YouthBuild Long Island from his aunt, Corey realized he was presented with an opportunity to turn his life around.   “Being in YouthBuild allowed me to move beyond the narrow space that I grew up in. YouthBuild taught me so much - everything from academics to... Read more
Friday, March 2, 2018
YouthBuild student Jasmine was part of a class-wide exercise focusing on responsibility and accountability. She was elected as leader of the group, and was given the responsibility to give assignments and tasks to her team to complete the given goal. They were given 13 tasks to complete in just 90 minutes at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park. The group had to send each completed task to the group leader, who had to relay the accomplishment to YouthBuild staff. At the conclusion of the scavenger hunt, all of the students had to return to class together, as a cohesive team, and give a presentation... Read more
Thursday, November 30, 2017
For John, a usual trip to the local library took a turn from the ordinary when he stumbled across a flyer that would change his life. An advertisement for YouthBuild Long Island caught his eye as he made his way to an English group conversation – a staple in his routine since he had dedicated himself to becoming fluent in English.   At the time, John was determined to go to college, but first had to get his high school equivalency diploma. After taking the time to learn more about YouthBuild and its mission to assist young men and women with career preparation – including the attainment of... Read more
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If you first met Gabe today, you would know him as a smart and successful man. He is a husband, a father, and currently part of the NorthEastern Apprenticeship & Training Program as an IBEW Local 1049 lineman. What you wouldn't know was what he's had to overcome to get to where he is now. Here is YouthBuild graduate Gabe's story in his own words: "I grew up in Brentwood, Long Island and lived there for most of my childhood life.  When I was 10 years old, my brother’s life was taken by a gang - He was only 19 years old when he died and today he would have been 38.  He was my closest... Read more
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

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