QUINCY, MA - The Quincy YouthBuild Program graduated twelve students on Thursday evening, October 27, 2005. The graduates, age 16-24 included: Stephen Byrnes, Matthew Cassidy (not in photo), Kevin Hastie (not in photo), Grady Mota, Ruben Nuñez, Curtis Porter, Giovanni Rosario, Hollie Smith, Mary Smith, Ray Smith, Daniel Tu Tran, and Caitlin Younie.

YouthBuild is a nationwide network of more than 200 programs that provide comprehensive training to youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who meet low-income guidelines, are not in school and have not received a high school diploma or GED. The program challenges participants to take a giant step by rebuilding their own lives and their communities with a commitment to obtaining their GEDs, learning construction skills through the creation of low-income housing units, acquiring life/work skills and becoming responsible citizens.

With support from local unions and the Quincy Housing Authority, Quincy YouthBuild students are helping to replace roofs/siding/windows at 180 buildings in the Riverview Family Development in the Germantown neighborhood. The young people's efforts have helped to improve the quality of life for many Quincy residents, while providing the youth with an opportunity to turn their lives around and experience success. The YouthBuild graduates are very enthusiastic about the program. According to student Caitlin Younie, "YouthBuild helped me get my life back on track and to realize what life is all about." And student Curtis Porter says, "YouthBuild kept me out of jail and turned my life around."

The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Massachusetts Department of Education-YouthBuild funds, and local resources. Graduation ceremonies took place at George F. Bryan V.F.W. Post 613, 24 Broad Street, Quincy, MA. Guest speakers included: Kim Harmon, Vice President of Operations, Training Resources of America, Inc.; Joseph A. MacRitchie, Executive Director, Quincy Housing Authority; Leo Kelly, Ward One Councilor, City of Quincy, Christopher Cato, YouthBuild USA Regional Coordinator; and Shane Johnson, former YouthBuild graduate.

Former Quincy YouthBuild graduate, Shane Johnson, shared his appreciation of YouthBuild and his words of wisdom with the graduates.

The Quincy YouthBuild partnership is comprised of lead agency, Training Resources of America, Inc.-Quincy Office, and the Quincy Housing Authority. According to Isabel J. Cobb, program manager, "It's an honor to be able to provide a wonderful program like YouthBuild to our community. Our graduating students have shown a great commitment and desire to better their lives and ensure a brighter future."

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