10. Length of Program

10. Length of Program

It is useful to look at YouthBuild as a multiphase, multiyear program.

Required actions

  • 10 A Full-time program participation must be available for at least nine months, but 11 or 12 months is generally considered more desirable, and some programs engage students full time for 18 to 24 months in order to achieve their goals. The intention behind this is to have students graduate with the credentials and skills required to transition to postsecondary education, trade certifications, and meaningful career paths. Within these parameters, students' individual development plans should drive the length of engagement.
  • 10 B Programs begin the full-time program with a week- to monthlong Mental Toughness or equivalent orientation program. It is at this point that staff begin to prepare students for graduation, careers, college, and community leadership. This preparation continues throughout the entire program.
  • 10 C Students must remain in the program a minimum of six months to be considered a completer or a graduate. Exceptions to this minimum participation requirement may be made if earlier placement is determined to be in the best interest of an individual student.
  • 10 D A graduate program at least 12 months long provides job counseling, continued access to academic opportunities, personal counseling, leadership opportunities, and support groups for former YouthBuild program participants. This program is designed locally and may include outsourcing with partner organizations.

Recommended actions

  • 10 E A local alumni club is set up and young people are connected to Youthbuild USA's national alumni association. This club invites graduates to participate in programs for as long as they choose.
  • 10 F A pre-YouthBuild program can help students entering with low literacy rates make the best use of the program and be more likely to finish with a GED or diploma.
  • 10 G To avoid turning people back out onto the streets, a program extension is provided for graduates who have not yet found an appropriate job or educational placement.
  • 10 H For students who earn their high school diploma or GED early, the program links them to an accredited college course, a job, an internship, or an apprenticeship while remaining engaged in the YouthBuild program.