On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, six (6) students graduated from the Worcester YouthBuild Program, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc. (TRA). The ceremony took place at the Fanning Building Auditorium, 24 Chatham Street, Worcester, MA.

The graduates, ages 17 to 21, included: Byron Figueroa (18), Kevin Fuentes (22), Charles Rodriguez Diaz (21), Xavier Sanchez (17), James Sarpee (21), and Phillipas Tziarbas (19), all from Worcester.

Worcester YouthBuild provides comprehensive training to young people ages 16 to 24 that meet low-income guidelines, are not in school, have not received a high school diploma or High School Equivalency or are basic skills deficient, and demonstrate a willingness to work hard for personal and community change.

Students receive instruction in High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) or Penn Foster preparation, self-esteem, life, work readiness, and leadership skills, including community service opportunities. This year, Worcester YouthBuild teamed up with long-standing partners Worcester Common Ground (WCG), Saint-Gobain Corporation/CertainTeed, YouthBuild USA, and Haley Design Building to build a sustainable 900 square foot home located at 20 Merrick Street, Worcester. In the process of being sold to a low-income, first-time homebuyer, the home is the first Worcester YouthBuild project that is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the most widely used green building rating system in the world to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

In addition to working towards attaining their High School Equivalency credentials, students earned OSHA (Safety), and Home Builder’s Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (HBI-PACT – Carpentry Skills) certificates.

Program Manager, Doug Daigle, TRA President, Kim Harmon, Worcester Public Schools Transition Rehab Specialist, Judy Freedman, and WCG Executive Director, Yvette Dyson, joined family, friends, and staff in celebrating the young peoples’ many accomplishments.

According to graduate James Sarpee who delivered the Student Address, “My adventure in the YouthBuild program was a blast, so many great friends, wonderful staff members and new experiences with construction, learning how to use the power tools properly and learning to be safe at the jobsite. The work was tough and tiring, but we put all our hearts, minds, souls and strength into getting the work done and completing the program. I’ll miss working for and with all of these wonderful people and I’ll never forget my experience with this great and hardworking program.”

Click Here for the Worcester YouthBuild Class of 2019 Official Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agJy4UUi7mg&t=6s


Click Here for More Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJec9nP

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