Long Term Support
After a young person graduates from Bridge or YouthBuild, we’ll stay in touch and continue providing them with support for as long as they need us.
In our early years as an organization, we noticed something interesting about our graduates. Sometimes, the ones who made the greatest strides while in our program were the ones who fell the hardest once they hit a bump in the road after graduation.
Regardless of how much we’re able to help students with the significant barriers in their lives, the reality is that our students’ challenges at home don’t always completely disappear while they’re at PYB. Personal setbacks happen to all of us, and sometimes, graduates who no longer have the benefit of a daily support system at school are the ones who need us the most.
Transformation doesn’t come easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So even though our students are in our full-time program only for a matter of twelve months or less, we commit to standing by their side for years to follow.
There’s a comfort and confidence that comes from knowing that someone will always be there to have your back. For some of our graduates, PYB staff are the only ones who are consistently there to play that role. We are honored to be a resource for them.
One of the reasons that this works is because of the deep relationships that we build with our students while they are in our full-time program. With an average staff tenure of over five years we can provide the continuity and consistency of relationships that our graduates really value. We take deep pride in the fact that our graduates can have faith that we will show up for them when they need us.
We provide help after graduation in many different areas, including:
- Academic help with college or apprenticeship classes.
- Refreshers on construction or tech skills needed for a new job.
- Job search assistance.
- Help with basic needs such as food, clothing, transportation, or housing.
- Advice on problems in the workplace or at home.
- Support with issues around race or personal identity.
- Referral to community resources.
Students have our commitment that we will check in with them on a formal basis for a minimum of one year after graduation. For those who are enrolled in post-secondary education or an apprenticeship program, we serve as a critical resource for these young people until they journey out of their apprenticeship or earn their desired degree or credential.
We make sure to reach out to our alumni on their terms. That may mean texting instead of sending an email. Or it could mean stopping by to bring a graduate lunch at work instead of expecting them to call in the afternoon while they’re still on shift. Connecting on social media plays a big role as well.
The range of services that we offer to our graduates after they leave is broad and extensive. Sometimes it’s a matter of helping a young person connect with a resource in the community, and other times our graduates are better served directly by PYB staff. Each students’ career coach and counselor play a key role in providing long term support to our graduates, and a team of staff serve as an ad hoc case management team for these young people as needed.
Seeing a young person overcome the odds to finish high school and land their first job is immensely satisfying, but seeing them succeed at their long term goals brings that joy to a whole new level.
Long term success looks different for each of our graduates, especially with such a diverse variety of backgrounds and interests among the young people that we serve. Their benchmarks of success are varied as well and are measured both by their accomplishments and by their overall quality of life. Depending on the graduate, quality of life measurements may include improved physical and mental health, housing stability, healthy personal relationships, or sobriety. Tangible accomplishments can include graduating from college, having their own home, becoming established in their career, or being a business owner.
Become A Student
Find out if Portland YouthBuilders is the right place for you or someone you know by reaching out to us today.