YouthBuild McLean County students took a field trip to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis last summer. (Photo courtesy YouthBuild McLean County)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - A program that offers vocational training to high school dropouts and students who are at-risk is expanding its reach in Bloomington.
YouthBuild McLean County is recruiting youth ages 17 to 24 to sign up for help getting a high school diploma, GED or job training. Director of Organizational Advancement, Alicia Lenard says a private grant has enabled YouthBuild to recruit students in District 87.
"We have never turned a young person away, but our primary focus with recruitment where we targeted was the Unit 5 school district area," Lenard said.
YouthBuild has worked mostly with students in Unit 5, where the program gets its funding as a charter school.
"It takes time. It took us years to develop a relationship with Unit 5 so we are just going to keep on trying to work together and trying and provide the best services we can with young people that are struggling in a traditional school system.
Lenard said the program helps those who are uneasy in a traditional classroom setting.
"A lot of times young people don't feel comfortable enough to speak up about decisions that are surrounding their lives. YouthBuild isn't like that at all. We want people to ask questions," Lenard said.
Orientation meets are planned at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, 16 and 23 at the YouthBuild training center at 360 Wylie Drive in Bloomington.
You can get more info at www.youthbuildmcleancounty.org.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.