The students and staff at YouthBuild North Central opened their doors for an open house Thursday in Randolph County as part of the first National YouthBuild Day. The program provides help to people from 16 to 24 to both complete their education and prepare them for what comes next.
"Half the time they spend in our program they spend in our classroom working on their educational advancement goals. The other half the time they learn the construction trade out in the community building low-income homes," said Program Manager Jason Vandevander.
The Randolph County program has expanded since it started in 1995. It also offers medical preparation classes for students looking to get into the medical field. That's a great opportunity for students like 21-year-old Brittany Hinchman.
"Oh, it means the world to me. I have a four-month old son since yesterday, and they've helped me out so much with everything I've needed to accomplish. I'm doing my med prep through here and I only have one more thing to do with my med prep, and I'm finishing that Monday and Tuesday of next week," Hinchman said.
The greater community also benefits from YouthBuild's work. In addition to the homes they build, students also go out and support the community in a big way.
"Our participants completed over eight thousand hours of community service projects. That both includes the volunteer work that they do in the community, as well as the construction projects that they do," said Vandevander.