Youth Build

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 Youth Build is a well known program which has been in existence for over 34 years in the United States with over 145 locations. In Manitoba there are currently three locations, one of which is in Thompson Manitoba hosted by the BGC Thompson. Currently, the BGC Thompson is preparing to enter into its 15th year of the program, focusing on providing opportunity to young underemployed/unemployed adults to rebuild their lives through commitment to work, education, responsibility and family.

Many of our young adults are without the necessary resources to fend for themselves as they prepare to enter adulthood, putting them at risk of further and continued marginalization. Many of these youth are transient aboriginal youth who are struggling to find their place in society. Throughout their lives they have faced many “typical” barriers which are prevalent in the North including limited numbers of employment opportunities, limited access to continue education past grade eight in most reserve communities, limited skills due to lack of education and strong family units, inadequate housing and access to health services. Often youth are forced to leave their rural and remote Northern communities for urban centers such as Thompson in an attempt to increase their skill development, education or seek employment, only to find that “the good life” is nowhere to be found.

Without the basic needs of food, shelter, security and the willingness of community organizations to take the time and energy to facilitate this population, there is little opportunity for these youth to work towards personal development and advancement in society. It is likely that the cycle of poverty, homelessness and crime will follow.

The Youth Build Program will create a positive learning environment and make a difference by empowering 24, at risk youth, between the ages of 18-29, who are unemployed, underemployed, not attending school and are at risk of becoming a serious challenge to themselves and/or the community. Through the Life Skills Component youth will develop effective life management and problem solving skills in the five target areas of self, family, job, community and leisure. With this solid foundation in hand, the youth will begin to have stability in their personal lives and the skills to take advantage of academic and vocational training. The importance of this component cannot be understated, throughout program; several students have relied heavily on these teachings. In the Educational Component, students will be registered with the School District of Mystery Lake RD Parker Collegiate and attend the Youth Build program in an off campus setting, working towards a mutually agreed upon educational goal. Students reaching their goals will have the opportunity to obtain their G.E.D (High school Equivalence Certificate). The G.E.D certificate is widely accepted as meeting secondary school graduation requirements for purposes of employment, licencing and further education. In addition to the Life Skills and Education Components, the Youth Build program will offer a Vocational Component in Basic Carpentry/construction.

General Service- Offers access to a full computer lab, information on referrals, housing applications, information on how to access other social services, G.E.D preparation, Driver training and assistance in resume development, job searching and preparing for employment.

Target age- Youth at risk over the age of 18, unemployed, underemployed not attending school.

Average intake- Minimum 20 students per school year and is a 50 week program

For any questions regarding this program please contact Tamara at

“I have learned that it doesn't matter what you've done in the past, there are people out there that will help you.” “I enjoyed mostly everything about Youth Build, learning stuff in carpentry, making a drum and I enjoyed the students because they were my friends.”

-Tony, 21. Graduated from Youth Build in 2010.

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