"I dropped out of my former high school because I was exposed to gang culture and didn't like it. I was frequently fighting, and I decided to look for another school to avoid the negative people and circumstances I was facing in high school. After an entire month of not attending school, my Principal showed up at my home with five police officers to discover why I stopped attending. After sharing my challenges, my school counselor referred me to SBWIB YouthBuild.
Of the many services I received at YouthBuild, construction training has been the service that has changed my life. My Construction Trainer exposed me to the field of construction and shared tips that would benefit my future. He also provided me with constant encouragement to lead a positive lifestyle. Due to his continuous support, I was able to earn my NCCER and OSHA 10 certification, and he has taught me everything I know about construction.
The results of receiving services from SBWIB YouthBuild were that I stopped hanging out with the wrong people and began building relationships with my SBWIB YB peers, who do not talk about drugs or gangs. YouthBuild also helped me strengthen the positive relationships I had before YouthBuild. My mom and family also noticed a positive change in me. My mom now views me as a positive and responsible person with a promising future. She is proud of all that I have accomplished at YouthBuild; that is, I am working, getting my own money, earning my certifications, and on my way to getting my diploma.
I would tell others, 'Go to YouthBuild because a trainer named Rafa can help you change your life as he did with me. He can show you how to be successful. YouthBuild can also help you get jobs, and you can have fun and get rid of all the negative.'"
- Angel Gonzalez, 17, current student at SBWIB YouthBuild in Lennox