Submitted by Shakti Robbins-Cubas

June 30, 2018

Originally published in Our Time Press on June 29, 2018.

Last week, Senator Montgomery congratulated DREAMS YouthBuild at their 10th anniversary and commencement ceremony at Antioch Baptist Church.

YouthBuild is a comprehensive program for unemployed, out-of-school youth ages 17-24, to obtain high school equivalency diplomas, job and leadership skills, secure employment, and go on to college or vocational school. It is also one of the most effective and successful youth diversion programs in New York State. Additionally, Youthbuild students deliver hundreds of hours of community service while producing and preserving affordable housing in their communities. Since 1994, 41,000 units of affordable housing have been produced or upgraded by 150,000 YouthBuild students across the US. Over 5,000 of those students have been New Yorkers.

“Raise the Age is more than a slogan, it’s about creating pathways for all of our young people to succeed. YouthBuild is a major part of that opportunity pipeline. Young men and women who are out of school and out of work are particularly susceptible to getting caught up in the criminal justice system, even though they have all the potential in the world,” said Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “We don’t do nearly enough in our state for young people. However, YouthBuild does it right. We need this program, we need to talk about it and support it and expand it. This is why I introduced the New York State YouthBuild Act.”

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