SAN ANTONIO – The nonprofit organization SA Youth welcomed 32 students to their Youth Build Program with a dream day event. At the event, young adults were able to visit different booths where companies and colleges had information.
"We really give them an opportunity to be in an environment where they are seen and where they know they are valued," Asia Ciaravino, CEO of SA Youth said.
“At-risk kids that are from 16 to 24. They dropped out, so they have had challenges in their lives,” Michelle Hutchinson, director of the Youth Build Program said.
The program provides young adults who have left the traditional school system an opportunity to complete their education by earning a high school diploma or GED.
Alexis Aguirre graduated from this program.
“I dropped out of high school to start working. To help my grandmother out with her bills,” Aguirre said.
The program helped her financially, too.
“Because we build a house in the east side zone, we are able to pay them for learning. It’s a project-based hands-on learning, so they get paid a stipend for coming to our program,” Hutchinson said.
Aguirre said she gained a second family during this process.
She is currently working at the organization and recommends this program to other young adults.
“I’m welcomed open doors for me all the time. The teachers are wonderful. They help out as much as they can,” Aguirre said.
“We give them every opportunity that every kid should have,” Hutchinson said.