"What I liked the most about my YouthBuild experience was that I was able to meet great people that helped me get through difficult situations. The program strongly believes in second chances. I have many awesome memories from YouthBuild, but by far my favorite is when we all worked together on the CAP (community action project) and we were able to give back to the community; being able to come together as a group that was very different in many aspects; it was encouraging."
- Alexis Flores, San Bernardino site at YouthBuild Inland Empire, Class of 2020
"I came to YouthBuild Charter with little to no credits. When I was younger, I never really attended school due to family and personal issues. This was my last chance. I've spent the last three years here and it has become my second home. I've learned many things, not just from teachers but from counselors as well. From how to make a resumé, to catching up on my basic math skills. I worked on my communication skills and prepared myself for post secondary education. This place has been and always will be a big part of my life. I always knew when I came here I was preparing myself for my future-- a future I would build on my own depending on the actions I choose to make. YouthBuild, in my personal opinion, has prepared me in more ways than one. I wake up every morning feeling accomplished knowing that I am getting somewhere and that I will be able to do what no one in my family could accomplish. It's never too late. Although I had a pretty bad start, I am more confident than ever I will achieve all the goals I have set. I am proud to be able to set an example for my younger siblings because we were not given the best start. Although there have been many challenges and struggles, it has changed me for the better. YouthBuild Charter was my stepping stone. Without this program in general, I don't think I would be the person I am today, and I say that proudly. I am stronger and more prepared than ever." - Alma Murrillo, Fresno site at the Fresno EOC LCC, Class of 2019
“I hadn’t found a lot of schools that fit my personality and what I’d been through. At YouthBuild Charter I’ve done a complete 180. I never saw potential in myself, but now I see myself changing. This school works with me to guide me towards my dreams and goals.”
- Jennail Chavez, South L.A. site at CRCD YouthBuild, Class of 2014
“I graduated from YouthBuild Charter School of California’s LA CAUSA (Los Angeles Communities Advocating for Unity, Social Justice and Action) site in June 2012. My experience there was life changing. I can’t thank the staff enough for what they have done for me. This school has changed my life in a positive way. I’ll be attending East Los Angeles College starting this summer and cannot wait. I’m going to major in History and hope that later, I’ll be able to attend a university, preferably UCLA.”
- Franky Jaimes, East L.A. site at LA CAUSA YouthBuild, Class of 2012
“YouthBuild Charter School of California, from my point of view, is a school for hope. A school where teen parents or students who are behind in their school credits to have a second or third chance at their high school diploma. This school doesn’t give up on their students. Since I walked in, I’ve been only getting better and better news… If it wasn’t for YouthBuild Charter, I would have probably dropped out of school for good in 2010. Here, we also learn more than in other schools; we actually have classes like construction that teach us how to build. YouthBuild Charter means a lot to me and probably always will. To me it means a chance to graduate and follow my dreams. Coming to this school, I didn’t know if it was a good thing or bad. But I gave it a chance and so should others. I respect this school a lot and will be proud to be a YouthBuild Charter graduate. If it wasn’t for this school, I don’t know where I would be today or what would have happened to me.”
- Carlos Rivas, Palmdale site at Antelope Valley YouthBuild, Class of 2011
“I loved that the staff there treated you like family. They were like the family I never had. They gave me so much support, it was amazing. At YouthBuild Charter, the teachers were always there to motivate you, and they wouldn’t give up on you. Just when I was ready to give up, they’d tell me I could do it. And I did do it. I graduated.”
- Maggie Espinoza, Lennox site at CCEO YouthBuild, Class of 2013
"Attending at YouthBuild Charter has been an amazing experience for me. I'm surrounded by great teachers, great staff and great students. All my teachers, counselor and classmates believed in me. They’ve helped me to build myself up by staying focused and more committed to my school work. I will continue on building myself up as soon as I start college by doing the same things I’ve been doing while attending YouthBuild Charter-- staying dedicated to my school, projects and keeping up good grades. YouthBuild Charter is an amazing school filled with wonderful teachers that actually make learning fun and understandable."
- Neira Lopez Martinez, Fresno site at Fresno EOC LCC, Class of 2017
“I had tried other adult schools before to get my GED or my high school equivalency. However, they never seemed right for me so I would always stop going. For some reason the YouthBuild Charter School was different though. I would wake up in the morning actually wanting and ready to go to school. One of the reasons why I think I stuck with it is because it was not like any other school. When I was at my old school all they were about was constantly testing. Rather than using the standard testing method like other schools, the YouthBuild Charter School uses a project based learning method called APTs. In my opinion, this learning style is the way to go. When you’re working on your APTs, they require a lot of hands on work and dedication. I feel that they are more meaningful than doing tests because they actually give you skills that you can take and use out in the real world.”
- Simon McGann, Fresno site at the Fresno EOC LCC, Class of 2013
Click the link below to read Simon McGann’s full reflection on his time at YouthBuild Charter School of California’s Fresno site.
Are you a current or former YouthBuild Charter School of California student and want to share your story with the world? Email Emily Suttmeier at [email protected] with your testimonial and she will publish it here.