We are proud to offer an exceptional academic program for the young people that we serve. YouthBuild students work towards earning their high school diploma or getting GED help while developing strong critical thinking, writing, reading, math, job readiness, and leadership skills.
By the time they reach PYB, the majority of our students have been out of the traditional school system for at least a year. Many of them have been out of school for multiple years.
Our students leave traditional schooling for a wide variety of reasons. It’s very common for us to enroll young people who left their former school because they had to work to support their families. Others got into trouble after they fell into the wrong crowd, or didn’t feel like they were cutting it academically. Some very bright students felt bored at their traditional school and felt it was a waste of their time. Many tell us that they didn’t feel seen or heard by their former teachers or peers. Frankly, for every reason listed here, our students have shared with us a dozen more. Our students and their educational backgrounds are unique.
Once a student has the desire and ability to return to school, whether that’s at a traditional diploma-granting school or through GED programs for youth, the past trauma of their former school experience is often deeply ingrained and very difficult to overcome.
We intentionally offer a very different educational experience for our students so that they can successfully begin to equate school with achievement instead of failure. The result is that our students take learning seriously and are able to find academic success at PYB.
A young person who did not thrive in a traditional school environment often feels right at home with us. To start with, our classrooms look different. Class sizes are small, students sit together at tables instead of in rows of desks, and teachers and tutors are rarely in front of the room in a traditional lecture style.
Our case management system and our focus on building deep relationships with each student means that our youth receive customized, individual support to match their educational needs and goals. For those students who felt unseen or unheard at their previous schools, having caring teachers and peers who truly know them and want to help them learn makes a world of difference.
On the foundational level, we help young people reframe their thinking in order to see themselves as lifelong learners. This goes along with our belief that students perform best in a culture of high expectations coupled with high levels of support. If a student is having difficulty grasping an important concept, we won’t let it slide. The expectation is that our students will do the work to learn, while our promise is that teachers will find multiple ways to present the information until it clicks. Success breeds success.
Most students in our YouthBuild program finish high school at PYB with their GED, while others earn a high school diploma. On average, over 75% of our YouthBuild students finish high school each year and advance to college, an apprenticeship, or start their career. Our long term support program means that students who continue their studies at college or in a certificate program can receive ongoing support from their PYB teachers and counselor to help them reach their educational goals.