A New Year of Building Futures

Hello, all! Welcome to the Building Futures YouthBuild/AmeriCorps blog.

2017 has arrived!  As we enter a new year, Building Futures YouthBuild is preparing itself for the arrival of a new batch of students ready and eager for their next phase of life.

After enjoying the holidays, the faculty have returned to the newly remodeled Scott Bibb Center (SBC) to “knock the dust off” before the students arrive.

Scott Bibb Center

The Scott Bibb Center is located at 1004 East 5th Street in Alton, Ilinois.

When arriving at the SBC on the first day of this semester, it was as dark as the somewhat eerie photo above. (But, just look at our new sign!) I found myself the first in the building. I walked down the hallway, automatic lights on the ceiling activated with each step, sparking my vivid and childlike imagination of the Michael Jackson video “Billie Jean,” which I must admit, enticed me to live out my pop star fantasies with MJ like pizazz, mimicking the dance move below I had practiced for countless hours as a child but could never perfect!

Billie Jean

I only wish I could dance like Micheal Jackson.

As I completed the spin, balancing myself on my tippy toes successfully for the first time in life for more than 2 seconds, my celebration ended before it began as I found myself gazing at the eye in the sky, a security camera! Brought back to the reality that I was a working professional, I quickly scampered off to my office hoping I did not have to start off the year with a barrage of MJ jokes and verbal hazing from security for the next three months should someone run across the footage.

One would ask why embarrass yourself with this story? Well honestly, I have no shame for a good cause!  I laughed as I entered my office, but it made me realize something: just how youthful the students keep the entire faculty, including me, and how their passion for life inspires me. I have no excuse for hanging my head over my disappointments.

Each year, students fill the SBC, bringing this eerie building to life with their laughter and joy. Despite the pressing, adult situations a lot of them face, they possess the courage to press on. I realized why I felt so warm and fuzzy coming into the building. While on holiday break, I was around friends and family, but with the same anticipation I counted until the last day of the fall semester, I immediately felt the same excitement about my return from break. I realized the reason is because the faculty and the students are my family and friends, as well. The family-like environment that Lewis and Clark Community College has provided YouthBuild, just like so many families, is filled full of ups and downs, disagreements, love, life and laughter.

I am proud to help students find their paths and eager to begin a new cohort! This year our YouthBuild students will be offered three career pathways:

Construction

Construction

Building Futures YouthBuild students worked with a team from local Lowe’s stores to improve private homes along Central Avenue in Alton, Monday, June 20, 2016. The students and volunteers painted, rebuilt fences and stained a deck, among other work, all of which is part of the program’s long-term Central Avenue Beautification Project. Photo by Laura Inlow, L&C Media Services Manager

Health Sciences

Nurse Assistant

Lindsey Arico (right) graduated from Lewis and Clark Community College and now is a certified nurse assistant/receptionist in the Family Health Clinic at L&C. Photo by S. Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College photographer/media specialist

Information Technology

Information Technology

Not only will Building Futures YouthBuild students be able to acquire a technical overview of modern information technology, but the schedule is designed so that they will also earn college credits. Students will be able to follow the Digital Leadership curriculum, AND graduates will earn 17 college credit hours toward their degree in Computer Networking in one year. After the first year, successful students will graduate with CompTIA A+ certification and a Certificate of Completion in Computer System Technology. Once the program is completed, students are well on their way to one of three advanced Certificates of Proficiency or an Associate in Applied Science degree.

For those of you who are new to this blog, Building Futures YouthBuild Director Sabrina Davis best summarizes what we do:

“Building Futures YouthBuild is about helping students transition into their career interests after completing their GED®. All 16-24 year olds that are looking to finish their GED® and build a future for themselves would definitely benefit from being a part of the YouthBuild movement. The New Year will be a great opportunity for students to get a fresh start, and Building Futures YouthBuild is the place to begin. Transformation looks different for all young people, and we want to make sure that we are providing multiple pathways to help satisfy those needs.
~ Sabrina Davis

A 2016 YouthBuild graduate Andre Ewing said, “If I didn’t go to YouthBuild, I would still have an average job. In my opinion, if you are considering joining YouthBuild, you should definitely give it a try.  As long as you stick to it, you will enjoy it. Stick with it. In the end, it is really worth it.”

Andre Ewing

Andre Ewing, center, was one of 128 students earned their General Equivalency Diplomas (GEDs) through Lewis and Clark Community College’s Adult Education department and the Regional Office of Education Adult Learning Center in 2016. Now, he is a student in Lewis and Clark Community College’s Welding program.

For more information or to sign up for January’s 2017 cohort please contact:

Student services coordinator, Sherrie Kirbach at 618.468.4113 or Director, Sabrina Davis at 618.468.4150.

To learn more about YouthBuild, visit www.lc.edu/youthbuild.

Until the next time signing off…

Pat Mays
Community Services Coordinator

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King

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