Frequently Asked Questions


What is YouthBuild Charter School of California?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is a WASC accredited public charter high school that empowers young people, ages 16-24, who have been pushed out of traditional high school to earn a high school diploma through social justice work and community action projects.

Why is there a need for this type of school?
Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school— and students in low-income neighborhoods are six times more likely to drop out. In 2011, about 140,000 California students did not graduate on time. YouthBuild Charter School of California helps re-engage those students so they can earn a high school diploma and experience post-secondary success.

Where is YouthBuild Charter School of California located?
YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) actually has 20 school sites throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, San Diego and Fresno Counties. For a complete list of our sites, see
Site Locations.” 

What are the requirements to enroll at YouthBuild Charter School of California?
Before you can enroll at YouthBuild Charter, you must first be accepted into one of our partner YouthBuild programs (see
YouthBuild Partners.”) Visit a site near you to pick up an enrollment packet. You must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old to enroll (at some sites you must be 18 or older.)  

The following documents are required for enrollment of students:
-Completed and signed Student Registration Form
-Identification card reflecting current address
-Official School Transcripts 
-Special Education Documents (IEP)/504 Plan – and/or Opt Out Letter
-IEP verified with SEIS (Student Education Information System) (YCSC Staff)
-Birth Certificate
-Utility Bill
-Signed Student Release Form
-Immunization Records, Blue Card (TDAP is a requirement). Student has 30 days to obtain TDAP shot and will be exited if not obtained. Parents can opt out, but it must be documented. (Required for applicants under age 18 only)
-**NOTE: Additional documents may be required at certain school sites depending on the YouthBuild program

How is YouthBuild Charter School of California different from other Adult Education programs or GED programs?
Unlike most adult schools or GED prep programs, YouthBuild Charter School of California offers its students the opportunity to earn a
high school diploma. In today’s economy, having a high school diploma is becoming increasingly valuable. Those with only a GED have a more difficult time joining the military, going to college, or even applying for entry-level jobs. By offering students the opportunity to earn a diploma instead of taking the GED test, we are opening the door to a wider array of post-secondary options. In addition, whereas most adult schools and GED prep programs are independent study and packet-based, our school is classroom-based and uses community action projects to make learning relevant to students, while meeting the state requirements for graduation. 

Is YouthBuild Charter School of California an independent studies school?
No, YouthBuild Charter is a classroom-based school environment that features hands-on, project-based learning. Our class sizes are smaller than at a traditional school, so students are able to receive more one on one attention from teachers. The classroom-based setting allows our students to recover credits faster than they would in an independent studies model, while also receiving a wealth of other services, including job training, college and career counseling, and leadership development. However, we do have a very limited number of independent studies slots available at each of our 20 school sites reserved for students who are pregnant or parenting young children, have a medical emergency or other health-related issue, or who have a full-time work schedule. If you are interested in an independent studies option at YouthBuild Charter, please contact the school site directly to inquire about openings.

How long will it take me to graduate from YouthBuild Charter School of California?

Lennox 2012 GradsIt depends how many credits you come in with, and it’s different for everyone. On average, it takes a student 1.3 years to earn their high school diploma at YCSC. Students who consistently attend class and complete all projects are able to complete on average 30 credits per trimester and 90 credits per school year. 85% of students who spend 1.5 years or less at YouthBuild Charter end up graduating.

What are Community Action Projects?
Community Action Projects are long-term commitments to the neighborhoods where we are based. They take place in the local community and seek to address an inequity that exists in the neighborhood. Each trimester, students and teachers brainstorm issues in their community that they wish to address. Some examples of these issues include, income inequality, lack of access to healthy foods, drug abuse, police brutality, and racial profiling. All learning in the classroom, whether it is in a science, economics or art class, will reflect on the community issue that the students and teachers have chosen. Then, at the end of each trimester, students work on Community Action Projects alongside their teachers, community members, and other local non-profits in an effort to actively address the issue they chose to focus on and help to transform their community. Examples of past Community Action Projects include a Health Fair, a Rock the Vote Campaign and Voter Registration Drive, a Town Hall event and organized protests against sheriff violence in L.A. jails, and adding locally grown fruits and vegetables to a corner liquor store. 

What is YouthBuild?
YouthBuild is a non-profit organization which provides education, counseling, and job skills to low-income young people between the ages of 16 to 24 who have dropped out of high school. The YouthBuild program has five components: construction, education, counseling, leadership, and graduate opportunity. There are currently over 270 YouthBuild programs in the United States

Do I have to pay to attend YouthBuild Charter School of California?
No. As a public charter school, we are funded by the state and our school is free to attend. There is absolutely no cost to earn your diploma here. 

I’m over 18 and aged out of high school. How can I still earn a diploma?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is able to enroll and offer a high school diploma to students between the ages of 16 to 24. This means that even if you turned 18 and were too old to remain at your old high school, you can enroll at our school and earn a high school diploma with us. How is this possible? California Department of Education Code Section 47610-47615 allows for this age exemption for charter schools that work with YouthBuild and Conservation Corps programs; click for full text of the California Ed. Code. 

I’m a former YouthBuild Charter School of California student and I need a copy of my transcript. How can I get my records?
The best thing to do is to contact the YouthBuild site you previously attended (all contact information can be found here) and speak to the counselor there to request your transcripts. If you are 18 or older, you will need to come in person to pick them up. If you are under 18, you may need to have a parent or guardian come with you. If no one is available at your YouthBuild site or if the site has moved or closed, please call the YouthBuild Charter School of California main office at 213-741-2600 and dial extension 221 or 224 to speak to a school registrar.

Where can I see copies of the YouthBuild Charter School of California Board Meeting minutes?
We keep all of our Board documents on Google Drive. Click here to view them.