YBB Blog

The YBB Quarterly Newsletter

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The YBB Quarterly

Your Regular Update on YouthBuild Boston

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Student Spotlight: Andrelino Cardoso

Program: Building Trades Exploration, December 2018

Q: What brought you to YouthBuild Boston?

A: I needed a high school diploma and I wanted to join the training site. I wanted more experience to build a career, before I join the Union. Right now I’m between the Laborers Union and the Carpenters Union. Although, I want to expand into building my own business.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?

A: My man Darius, if it wasn’t for him I would have left. At the time I was going through it and needed to focus on money. He pulled me to the side and got me back together. The staff here is supportive.

Q: What is your favorite part about the BTE program?

A: My favorite part of the program is the support. Whenever we need something the staff is willing to help even when they have their own responsibilities to take care of. The academic teachers provided me with work to take home and would check up on me to see if I needed any more help or work. They make an effort to make sure that I am prepared for my HiSet.

Q: What is the most interesting that you’ve learned?

A: When I started YouthBuild Boston I wasn’t aware of my speech, I would swear all the time. The staff here really helped me become aware of how much I was swearing and would call me out on it. I’ve seen a drastic change in the words I choose to say. They really helped me with that piece of professional development.

Q: What project do you remember working on?

A: We did a service project called the Clayborne Garden, where the main goal was to build comfortable benches for the community gardeners and to clean up the gardens afterwards. I was a team leader; I designed the benches and built them on the day of the service event. When designing the benches I thought about durability, comfort and stability: Durability because I want to make sure that they could last through the seasons. Stability and comfort because I wanted to make sure that the gardeners could stay safe and comfortable when using the benches.

Q: Top 5 musicians… Go!

A: Lil’Herb, 7981 Cal, Polo G, FBG duck, and King Von

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I want to join the Pre-Apprentice program and move towards joining the union.

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New Program for Muñiz Students

In anticipation of our new student program, members of YBB staff met with several students from the Margarita Muñiz Academy. Executive Director Ken Smith, Construction Manager Joe Diaz, and Development Coordinator Ashley Johnson paid the school a visit on June 6th to talk to students about our upcoming summer partnership, as well as the new alternative senior year program. This was followed-up on June 12th by a field trip to our main office. Students were able to learn more about who YouthBuild Boston is, and received some introductory tool training. The first group of six summer students began their program on July 1st.

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Students from YouthBuild Boston Represent at National Leadership Conference

Two YouthBuild Boston students were selected to join more than 80 other young leaders in Washington, D.C., to further develop their leadership skills and network with current and former students from YouthBuild programs across the country. Jeffrey Ramos and Annielyz Fuentes participated in the 31st Annual YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders during the week of June 3rd.

The YouthBuild USA AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders brings together young people from across the country to fully experience the breadth and impact of YouthBuild’s global movement rooted in leadership, service, education and workforce training. The young people shared their experiences with each other and participated in workshops on understanding substance abuse and its impact on long-term success, building healthy relationships, developing financial capability skills, identifying leadership styles and personal branding. Delegates like Ramos and Fuentes are chosen to attend by their fellow students and local YouthBuild program staff.

A new addition to the Conference, this year was the Service Impact Fair, where students highlighted their service to community through pictures, videos and stories during a science-fair-style event. The presentations told the story of the service they provided, the impact they’ve had on their community and what they learned during their time at YouthBuild.

Congratulations to Annielyz and Jeffrey on a successful conference!

Did you know?

YouthBuild Boston’s expertise is often sought out - we’ve consulted for other YouthBuild programs all over the world! From Brazil to England to South Africa, it is always an honor to work with our fellow YouthBuild organizations.


Construction Update: 23 Ruskindale Road

Our Pre-Apprentice and Building Trades Exploration students are hard at work at our active construction site, 23 Ruskindale Rd. in Hyde Park. This house will be part of the City of Boston’s Neighborhood Homes Initiative, promoting affordable home ownership for first-time buyers. This quarter, the PA students focused on interior work: all of the drywall was installed, mudded, and sanded, the walls have been primed and painted with a first coat, and fixtures are beginning to be installed. Now that the weather is warming up, students have also started working on the landscape. The BTE students completed a large shed in the backyard, with an additional shed currently being built. Overall, this future home is 75% done. Keep up the good work!

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Cross-Cultural Partnership

On May 29th, YBB was thrilled to welcome Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan, Founder and CEO of LabourNet. LabourNet is a multi-service center dedicated to improving the lives of millions of Indians living in poverty in urban and rural areas. This is accomplished through education, training, and a focus on entrepreneurship. During her visit, Dr. Vasudevan met with several staff members at YBB to compare our programs and exchange ideas, before going to our active site at 23 Ruskindale Rd. to see our students in action. Dr. Vasudevan’s visit to YBB was part of a larger trip to solidify a lasting relationship between LabourNet and YouthBuild. We look forward to working more with Dr. Vasudevan and LabourNet in the future!

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Student Spotlight: Jeffrey Ramos

Program: Pre-Apprentice, February 2019

Q: What brought you to YouthBuild Boston?

A: I was going through a lot and I was in a bad place and did not have many options. YouthBuild is something that my grandmother told me about, she kept seeing it in the paper. It turned out to be a good option, saved me actually. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t get into this, to be honest.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?

A: My biggest inspiration is my little brother. He just graduated from high school and has always told me to do good. He is so humble. He is going to UMASS Dartmouth to study sports management.

Q: What is your favorite part about the PA program?

A: Being able to work with my hands. Through the program I got my OSHA 10 card and the work experience on the construction site has given me an advantage on my new work site. I’m in a Commercial Union, my local is 327, and right now I'm working near Forest Hills on a residential project. At my new location I have met other apprentices that have yet to get their OSHA cards. YouthBuild has definitely gives me a step ahead in the workplace. Now I'm working towards becoming indentured, which means becoming an official apprentice in the union.

Q: What project do you remember working on?

A: Through YouthBuild Boston I was able to go to a conference that was held in DC for AmeriCorps Leaders. I was able to meet people from all over the nation, I met people from California, New York even Montana. I didn’t know that people actually lived in Montana! My dorm mate was from Ohio, there were just people from all over, and we still stay in touch. At the conference we were given a chance to speak about the development projects that we were on. We made a whole poster and took photos so that they could see the progress that we had made. We were a little nervous at first but it was a great experience. Hopefully I’ll be on their staff list one day and get to go again.

Q: Top 5 musicians… Go!

A: Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, Drake, Da Baby, J Cole

Q: What is the most interesting that you’ve learned?

A: I learned that a lot of people are there to support you. When we were working at Ruskindale, a project in Hyde Park, a police officer came by the site to speak to us [students] and gave us positive affirmations about the work that we were doing in the community. Other people would also come by and tell us of all the good that we were doing, they would boost our morale. Ed, our voc instructor, would also tell us to never give up and keep going. He always kept us focused.


YBB’s Alison Carter Marlow joins expert panel to discuss Opportunity Youth

On May 21, YBB’s Director of Program and Operations Alison Carter Marlow spoke on a panel at the Boston Foundation for the Rennie Center’s report on “Career Pathways for Boston’s Opportunity Youth”. This event was organized by the Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative. The report – the third in the joint series produced collaboratively by the Rennie Center and the OYC – analyzed career pathways for opportunity youth in Boston. Alison and her fellow panelists (Alysia Ordway from Boston Private Industry Council, Moise Michel from City Year, and Mario Hines, InnerCity Weightlifting) responded to the report and gave the City of Boston specific advice for how best to help underserved youth.


YouthBuild Boston Hosts OSHA Stand Down Day

On May 8th, YBB hosted the Department of Labor OSHA Stand Down Day. Stand Down is a nation-wide OSHA event held annually to promote safety on worksites and prevent falls. The day consisted of safety exercises and workshops with our Pre-Apprentice and Building Trades Exploration students, as well as students from Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. We worked in collaboration with the Regional OSHA office, the Carpenter’s Union, and the City of Boston. We also had the support of several of Boston’s largest contracting companies: Gilbane Building Company, Skanska, Suffolk Construction Company, and Shawmut Design and Construction. This marked the sixth consecutive year that YBB has hosted our region’s OSHA Stand Down Day. Congratulations to all on a successful session on safety!

Enrollment Updates

YBB served over 50 students this quarter. Thirty-eight students were active in the BTE, PA, and Designery programs, and 14 students were newly enrolled. The most recent BTE cohort began in early June, with another group set to begin on July 8th. The Designery summer session began on July 1st and a new cohort of PA students enrolled on July 8th.

We are also excited to share that our inaugural Facilities Maintenance class has finished their first year of the program! FCM students are enrolled in a two-year training program in partnership with Winn Management. There are currently six students participating in the program, with expectations to add 15 more students in early 2020. Congratulations to our FCM students on meeting their midway point!

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Service Day at UNA Community Garden

This spring, YBB teamed up with the United Neighbors Association to renovate their community garden on Claybourne Street. Tier 2 Designery students developed a new green roof and drainage system for the storage shed, designed additional seating, and devised and implemented a new organization system.

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On May 4th, YYB students and staff worked with volunteers from Starbucks to put their plans into action. This was truly a team effort!

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YouthBuild Students Meet for State House Day

The beginning of April marked YouthBuild’ annual State House Day. This gathering gives YouthBuild students from all over Massachusetts an opportunity to visit the state house and inform elected officials of the impact YouthBuild programs have in communities around the state. Students speak directly to legislators in the Great Hall of Flags to report on what YouthBuild means to them, their families, and their communities as a whole.

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This year’s YBB representative was Keyshawn Cavanaugh. After the presentations, students broke into small groups to visit the offices of their local elected representatives. This event is a wonderful opportunity for YouthBuild students to see democracy in action!