Crisp County youth organization receives federal grant -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crisp Co. youth organization receives federal grant


Hammers bang and saws whirl near 25th Avenue West in Cordele.

The workers at this site may look like an average construction crew, but this group is part of Youth Build, an organization focused on empowering young people while paying them to focus on a trade

Executive Director Robert Cooke says, "The main goal is to help young people who haven't graduated from high school to complete their GED to get training from high school to completing their GED to getting training in construction, how to keep or get a job and to move into full time employment."

The nonprofit group founded in 1978 gathers youth from ages 16 through 24 who have dropped out of school, and teaches them life and job skills. This week, the program received a grant from the Department of Labor to help 72 people in Crisp County over the next two years.

In addition to helping them earn their GED, the organization prepares them for college, offers mentoring and counseling and teaches them the inner workings of construction work. 

Youthbuild takes in about 20 students at a time they split them into two groups 10 will work on the construction site, and the others will go to work on their GED, as well as leadership skills

Student Darrell Ruff says, "You'll be in the perfect place at the perfect because while you (sic) going to school you (sic) getting paid to go. I mean you really can't beat it."

The youth are working alongside local contractors to help build four homes in this neighborhood. The homes are three bedroom two bathroom houses equipped with central heating, laminate wood flooring, and reflective roofing that cuts down on energy costs

The homes are also handicap-accessible and will provide low income housing that's needed in the community. The skills these students gain will not only help them financially, but also give them confidence, and help them inspire other at-risk youth.

"I would say there is always another option there's always another option it's not just that one option you can be young and have kids and still have another option," says 20-year-old student Lafaydra Fullwood

Their slogan 'Rebuilding Lives and Rebuilding Communities' still stands strong and hopefully will continue to impact those around them.


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