In early December of last year the founder of Youthbuild USA, Dorothy Stoneman, met with President and Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and hundreds of leaders in higher education. They came together to announce new initiatives designed to support more students to prepare for and graduate from college.
YouthBuild USA is a nationwide organization which sponsors programs for low-income youth from age 16 to 24 to help then get either their high school diplomas or GEDs while simultaneously learning job skills through the construction of affordable housing. The organization receives support from government agencies, and private foundations. The Department of Labor is the major government funder of YouthBuild’s programs. Private funders include Blackstone Medical co-founder Michael Lyons, the John Heinz Charitable Fund, and InContext Enterprises.
The White House created the “College Opportunity Day of Action” to support President Obama’s desire to create partnerships between colleges and universities, business leaders and non-profit organizations. Together these groups can give a leg up to the nation’s youth to get to college, helping the country attain its goal of being the world leader in college entrance and graduation.
With the generous help from private donations, YouthBuild USA hopes to increase the rate of FAFSA completion, the college application and access rates, and lower the need for remedial college classes. Reaching these goals is one of the keys to increased opportunity and prosperity for the country.