Essential Program Qualities

The following program qualities are not easy to measure, but they are the philosophical core and spirit of YouthBuild. To succeed, the program components must be suffused with these qualities, and staff must be trained in the meaning of them. They are designed to provide experience directly opposite to the previous negative experiences of YouthBuild students. The essential YouthBuild program qualities are:

  • Profound respect for the young people's intelligence
  • Power for young people over their immediate environment
  • Protection for the participants, as much as possible, from disaster-or at least the support necessary to cope with it
  • Meaningful and important work for both students and staff
  • Real, patient caring for young people's development
  • Teaching of academic, employment, and social skills
  • Consistently positive values
  • A firm and loving challenge for young people to stop self-destructive behavior and change negative attitudes
  • Family-like support and appreciation from peers and adults
  • High standards and expectations
  • Staff members who have overcome similar obstacles who can serve as inspiring and caring role models
  • An understanding of the proud and unique history of their own people, and respect for people of different cultural backgrounds
  • Heightened awareness of the present-day world and young people's important place in it
  • A path to future opportunity
  • Real concern and action to change the conditions that have affected the young people and the people they love
  • Fun!