Alternative Youth Development Programs YouthBuild‐Lawrence FY’15 was an exciting year for YouthBuild‐Lawrence (YBL). In addition to completing program cycle 19 in December with 30 graduates, cycle 20 kicked off in February as the beginning of YouthBuild‐Lawrence’s 20th year of providing transformative work in the City of Lawrence. In September, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas hosted a ceremonial check presentation to celebrate YBL’s second $1.1 million grant from the Department of Labor. When AmeriCorps volunteer, Rebecca Lawrence, joined the staff full‐time as the Coordinator of Academic Services, YouthBuild‐Lawrence restructured from three AmeriCorps volunteers to one full‐time position. In February, 47 potential YouthBuild‐Lawrence students began orientation, called “Mental Toughness,” which ended with a cohort of 34 students selected for cycle 20. These youth were quickly challenged in March by the Massachusetts Furniture Trust’s annual Eco‐Challenge. In May, YouthBuild‐Lawrence hosted 15 other New England YouthBuild programs for the 16th Carpentry Challenge in the parking lot of the Methuen Home Depot. With the support of generous sponsors, over 100 YouthBuild students and staff from the area showcased their programs through friendly, competitive activities. Internship‐to‐Hire Program In FY’15, YBL began the Internship‐to‐Hire Program, which offers local businesses an alternative hiring method. Employers are able to evaluate a potential applicant prior to committing to hiring that candidate. The Internship‐to‐Hire opportunity is advantageous to YouthBuild graduates as they prove themselves to potential employers. The goal of the program is to develop a win‐win partnership where both parties’ needs are met. So far internship placements include: the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Office, JumpStart pre‐school, the Andover Animal Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital and Diamond Welding. Every once in a while you come across a student whose humble nature leads to accomplishments which go unrecognized. Daniel entered YouthBuildLawrence as a shy young man lacking confidence in his academic abilities. He committed himself to improving his writing and math skills and earned a GED. He also developed a curiosity about his environment and began reading more, developed an interest in Psychology and enrolled at Northern Essex Community College studying Human Services. He is now successfully employed in food services at a local hospital. He has also been able to purchase a vehicle, which was a long-standing goal. Daniel continues to use the resources of YouthBuild by seeking help with homework and utilizing the YBL case management services. He remains humble in his successes and is quick to thank those who have helped him and slow to take credit for his achievements. Daniel graduated from YouthBuild-Lawrence in 2014. LFDEF, INC FY’2014‐2015 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 5

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