Jade's Story

"I can’t even put into words how much YouthBuild has changed my perspective. I was in a very negative headspace in my life and attending YouthBuild gave me a sense of hope of having a future I would be happy and proud to have"

Jade, Class of 2021

Before YouthBuild, Jade was overwhelmed with her traditional high school experience. “The plan was to go to North Chicago public high school, but my first week there did not go well”, Jade said. “I didn’t want to resume my education there because I struggled in a traditional high school environment, and I would experience problems while attending. On the second day, I couldn’t even get out of my car. I was paralyzed with fear… I was very doubtful I would finish my high school education because I didn’t think I could go through the same struggles again.” That’s when Jade’s mother introduced her to YouthBuild Lake County. After attending an informational, Jade agreed to attend YBLC- but she was skeptical. 

Jade recounted her first day at YBLC, saying “In the beginning, I had my doubts. I didn’t think I would get anything from YouthBuild. I just thought it would be like any other program. I was actually planning on not attending after the first day, but Mr. Avante talked to me and calmed me down, and helped me push through the next few days. That’s when I knew the program was different- I felt like there was a genuine concern and care for the youth”. Jade continued to push herself during her time at YouthBuild and was elected as a Youth Policy Council member by her peers. Jade said “I never dreamed I would do anything like that. I was scared but when I heard my name saying that I was elected into YPC, I was mind blown. That was life-changing.” The more Jade believed in herself, the more she accomplished. 

2 years ago, Jade thought her education was over. Today, she is enrolled at the College of Lake County where she is working towards a bachelor’s in English. “I can’t even put into words how much YouthBuild has changed my perspective. I was in a very negative headspace in my life and attending YouthBuild gave me a sense of hope of having a future I would be happy and proud to have”