Hahn, A., Leavitt, T., Horvat, E., & Davis, J. (2004). Life after YouthBuild: 900 YouthBuild graduates reflect on their lives, dreams, and experiences. Somerville, MA: Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Temple University College of Education.
- This report summarizes YouthBuild participants’ experiences after program completion. YouthBuild was founded in 1991 and offers academic instruction and construction training to economically disadvantaged youth who use those skills to build affordable housing for low-income households.
- The authors collected information on what students go on to do after YouthBuild by conducting in-depth interviews with 57 graduates and a detailed survey of 882 graduates.
- YouthBuild graduates who were interviewed had a very positive view of the program; they appreciated that staff set high expectations for them while acting as their substitute families and providing a caring environment. They also enjoyed the construction work, which enabled them to see tangible results of their efforts. Many expressed the need for additional career- or education-related programming after the period of full-time participation in YouthBuild.
- Seventy-five percent of the graduates who were surveyed were either working or engaged in postsecondary studies at the time of the survey, and similar percentages were free of government support and participating in at least one community activity. Like the interview findings, many survey respondents expressed a need for further career- or education-related programming.