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College Bound

August 1, 2016

YB NECCCycle 21 is looking like a historic year for YouthBuild Lawrence in many ways. One of those, which we are incredibly proud of is, the highest number of students pursuing dual enrollment in college and YouthBuild. This year, five of our young women are enrolled in the Northern Essex Community College’s Bridge Program. The Bridge program is a two week introduction to college classes, campus life and how to utilize all of the colleges’ many resources. The Bridge Program is sponsored by the Student Success Center for incoming Latino(a) college students and is designed to help ease students’ adjustment to college life and build a foundation for academic success. 

The partnership between YouthBuild Lawrence and NECC ensures that the students will achieve their goals of graduating college to pursue the career of their dreams. The students were encouraged by YouthBuild Lawrence’s Coordinator of Placement and Career Services, Allishah Mohammed.

YouthBuild studentparticipants from left to right, Gloria Martinez, Diana Rivera, Emerald Vasquez, Alonda Mercedes, and Karina Gabin.
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YouthBuild Students Discuss Social Justice Issues around the Armenian Genocide

October 27, 2015

genocideThis year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a horrific tragedy which occurred during 1915-1923 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. On October 23, 2015, Lawrence Family Development YouthBuild Students proudly hosted Ara Jeknavorian and Tom Vartabedian, descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors, who shared their personal stories and spoke about the genocide in the context of the ultimate violation of human rights. They shared the atrocious events on the genocide and Rody Lopez, YouthBuild student, commented “It’s crazy how they killed so many people and how everyone forgot about it.”

Mr. Jeknavorian and Mr. Vartabedian are part of an organization called the Armenian Genocide Curriculum Committee of the Merrimack Valley that strives to provide greater insight about why the genocide occurred and how it set the stage and enabled subsequent genocides such as the Jewish holocaust as well as the Bosnian, Rwandan and Cambodian genocides. The organization provides complementary educational resources to local schools. Karlos Delecruz, YouthBuild student and vice-president of the school’s student government, appropriately said “During the genocide they killed millions. It should be in the history books. People need to learn about this.”

While at YouthBuild, students learn about many social justice issues and strive to make their community a better place. For example, while preparing for High School Equivalency exams, students strategize ways to solve complex problems such a bullying and access to healthcare. Additionally, as part of the vocational component of the program, YouthBuild students build affordable housing addressing homelessness and access to home ownership. YouthBuild seeks to educate our opportunity youth to be leaders and powerful agents of change here in the city of Lawrence.
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