I spent half-a-day meeting and greeting the young people at the ABLE-DISABLED ADVOCACY’S YOUTH BUILD PROGRAM on Friday in the Stockton section of San Diego at 32nd & Market.  I was asked to speak to the participants about drug & alcohol abuse.  I coupled it with motivational ideas. The young men and women are part of a comprehensive youth development program that addresses several core issues facing low-income youth including education, work readiness, financial assistance and employment.  “Youth build,” as it is called, helps it’s students work towards 1) High School Diploma/GED program completion..2) Construction Training in Green Building Technologies..3) Leadership Development & Community Service & 4) Job Readiness Skills & Job Placement Assistance.  “YouthBuild’s” Multi-Craft Curriculum training is a Pre-Apprenticeship course that includes construction industry standards, CPR, First Aid and OSHA 10 Certifications.  The course also offers a pathway to post-secondary education and advanced training for other careers in the Building Trades.  The program is supported by 100% funding from the U.S. Dept. Of Labor, and each student receives a weekly stipend during training, a strong incentive to stay in the program.  In order to participate, students must be 17-20 years old, a high school dropout, a legal resident, and live in zip codes 92102, 92105, 92111, 92114, 92115 or 92139.

I especially want to thank former S.D. Chargers Def. End Burt Grossman, who oversees the program, Denise Yoggerst, Program Manager, and others who make all this possible.  If you want more information you can contact them at (619) 928-4532.  It’s so pleasing to have programs like this available to our youth.  They don’t give up on the young people and neither should you!