YouthBuild Johnstown Students to Visit State Capitol for Program Advocacy

April 16, 2018, Press Release

JOHNSTOWN, PA, April 16, 2018—Students of YouthBuild Johnstown, a program operated by Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies, will be part of the newly formed YouthBuild Pennsylvania Coalition that will visit their elected officials on April 18 at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Students from across the state will voice the importance of the YouthBuild programs in Pennsylvania, sharing their personal stories and explaining how YouthBuild has empowered them to be leaders in their communities.

The YouthBuild Pennsylvania Coalition www.ybpacoalition.org represents individual organizations operating in Allentown, Harrisburg, Johnstown, Knox, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, McKeesport, Reading, and York that sponsor and operate YouthBuild programs. YouthBuild programs provide educational opportunities and job training for low-income, young men and women 16 to 24 years of age who did not complete high school and are not regularly engaged in the workforce.

State Representatives, Carol Hill Evans, Edward Gainey, Jarod Solomon, and Mike Tobash will speak to the youth and later the students will visit their respective state representatives.

The programs also help students enhance their leadership skills and encourage them to make critical changes in their community and their lives. The young people revitalize their communities by building or renovating homes for low-income and homeless neighbors. In the last three years, 1,243 youth were enrolled in the YouthBuild programs in Pennsylvania. The students built 66 houses and renovated at least 292 units of affordable housing .

The YouthBuild Pennsylvania Coalition programs are among over 260 local YouthBuild programs in 45 states, and another 80 YouthBuild programs in 21 countries. YouthBuild’s global movement is rooted in leadership, service, and training. This year, YouthBuild USA is celebrating 40 years of work advancing its mission to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of young people to transform their lives and their communities.

“YouthBuild is a movement of ethical young leaders working to make changes in their own lives and their communities, and this event enables them to experience that they are part of something larger than themselves,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA.

Joann Monroe, President of Pennsylvania Coalition of YouthBuild Programs and Executive Director of the Pittsburgh YouthBuild program, stated “The program transforms the lives of young people where they learn marketable skills and become productive citizens and leaders in their communities.”

For more information about Goodwill’s YouthBuild Johnstown Program, contact Mindy Rickabaugh, Coordinator of Reintegration Services at (814) 536-3536, ext. 291 or mrickabaugh@gogoodwill.org.

Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies (formerly Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley, incorporated in 1962) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania serving the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, and a portion of Westmoreland. Revenue from the sale of donated goods in the organization’s 10 Goodwill Retail Stores supports its mission of empowering individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Adult and youth services include education and career services, job placement, postemployment supports, and psychiatric rehabilitation. The agency is an independent, community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at www.GoGoodwill.org.

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