"YouthBuild showed me a different life. We got to travel to black colleges and see what was outside of our community. They taught me that I did not have to be a part of what I grew up in. I did not have to live in poverty and there are other options."

Ashley, Class of 2015

Ashley

Ashley had gotten kicked out of high school before she found YouthBuild. “I really didn’t like school, but I knew I needed to further my education somehow.” Ashley was introduced to YouthBuild by her mom and decided to take the opportunity. “YouthBuild taught me patience. I really enjoyed the diversity and meeting people from all walks of life. I got to see how far my peers came from when they started to where they are now.” She originally went to YouthBuild just to get her education. A few years later, when she was 22, she found herself struggling again and turned back to YouthBuild for help. “I was at this point in my life where I didn’t have a job and felt like I couldn’t get hired anywhere. I was dealing with a huge driving ticket and had lost all hope,” Ashley said. She remembered YouthBuild offered college and career programs and decided to go back. “YouthBuild showed me a different life. We got to travel to black colleges and see what was outside of our community. They taught me that I did not have to be a part of what I grew up in. I did not have to live in poverty and there are other options.” Years later, Ashley now works full time as a Supervisor of Security at Abbvie, a YouthBuild employer partner. “I am no longer jumping from house to house. I have a great job, my own apartment, and my own car. YouthBuild changed my life. I can’t stress that enough.”