"YouthBuild showed me a support system and that there are people out there beside your own family that will motivate you and help push you in the right direction."

Fernando, Class of 2020

Fernando

Fernando was looking to make a change in his life before he applied to YouthBuild. “I did not have my high school diploma and there were a lot of events that happened in a row that made me realize I could easily be doing better for myself.” Fernando had heard of YouthBuild a few years back and decided to make the first step towards his future by reaching out and applying. “YouthBuild showed me a support system and that there are people out there beside your own family that will motivate you and help push you in the right direction,” Fernando said. “They also helped me learn how to better manage my time. Our schedules would shift from programming to on-site work, and that taught me to make the most of my time when I wasn’t on-site so I could all my certifications done and not fall behind.” During his time in the program, he was able to complete his high school diploma and earn several industry recognized credentials. “I had always had an interest in construction and earning my forklift certification at YouthBuild was able to lead me to a lot of better opportunities.” Fernando now works full time at Culligan, where he uses his certification as a material handler. “What makes me hopeful for the future is knowing that this is just the beginning. I plan on furthering my education because I know that will help push me even farther in life, and that is something I look forward to. Some great advice that I was told is that no one is going to flip the switch for you. If you are determined to do better for yourself, you have to go out and make it happen.”