YouthBuild Director’s August 2020 Update

YouthBuild participants pack boxes of food at the Hampton Roads Food Bank.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.”

Mahatma Ghandi

Greetings Newport News YouthBuild students, staff & Hampton Roads family!

Ghandi’s quote allows me to reflect on the importance of how we can all be changemakers in someone’s life by understanding that the structure of change starts with you! The Newport News YouthBuild (NNYB) partnership between Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas and the City of Newport News is in full swing with the launch of our first cohort of students on July 20th.  These eleven hopeful students are currently working their way through the Boot Camp portion of the program, which focuses on leadership and academic training.  During this phase, our program partner the Peninsula Regional Educational Program (PREP), trains students in areas of digital literacy, financial literacy and leadership development to help set them up for long-term career success.

NNYB is designed to provide young adults living in low-income areas of Newport News the education and training they need to achieve industry-recognized certifications and employment in construction trades. Helping these participants obtain fulfilling and sustainable careers in growing fields in and around Newport News will not only help to promote economic growth, it will help to break the cycle of generational poverty.

Following Boot Camp, students will begin Construction Trades training which will use curricula developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research, NCCER, and be delivered at the Four Oaks Training Center located at 7401 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News.  The NCCER offers industry-recognized credentialing that ensure participants demonstrate the quality and safety control mechanisms of a craftsman in the construction industry. Participants will receive intensive skills training in carpentry, electricity, residential HVAC, and plumbing. 

NNYB is also partnered with Centura College.  The partnership provides students the opportunity to enroll in Centura’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program.  The program will prepare students to receive a Class A operating license through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Lastly, NNYB is involved with community engagements.  Over the past several weeks, program participants have volunteered at the Four Oaks Training Center Clothes Closet and the Hampton Roads Food Bank. Community service is an important component of the NNYB program. Volunteer opportunities will teach program participants the value of investing in the communities in which they live as well as help them build character, self-confidence and relationships. NNYB students continue to embody the focus areas of self, family, and community enrichment.

I want to thank the Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas staff, the City of Newport News, all program partners, and most importantly the dedicated staff of YouthBuild for their diligence and support of our students.

“Gracias por todo su attencion”

Daniel S. Carrera
Program Director
Newport News YouthBuild

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