YouthBuild Memphis graduates students, gives many a second chance

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- YouthBuild Memphis graduated thirty students and sent them out to contribute to the community Friday.

"It gave me structure, what to follow and it helped me, you know, get where I am now," said YouthBuild graduate Tiara Williams.

Williams is starting a new job with the city Monday as a clerical assistant.

She is a part of the second class to complete the nine-month-program in Memphis.

For many, it is a second chance.

"Some who unfortunately have been incarcerated and things of that nature, dropped out of school, have made some bad choices, but now they're understanding another opportunity to turn the corner," said Youth Program Coordinator Darrell Scott.

"From our first cohort, we had zero percent recidivism meaning all of the people that came through that program were successful and stayed out of trouble," said Kevin Woods with Workforce Investment Network.

YouthBuild is a leadership development program targeting low-income young adults, helping them get high school equivalency, and get ready for the work force.

All of the students in the program earned accreditation with the National Center for Construction Education and Research, making them more prepared for construction work.

Mayor Jim Strickland delivered the keynote address and told wreg that the program builds up a better Memphis.

"They're getting on the right track to a career basically and then that helps the whole city. The more young people that we have out working and being productive and helping their families, it just helps the entire community," Strickland said.

"I'm very thankful," Williams said.

For more information about YouthBuild Memphis, click here.

YouthBuild Memphis is an affiliate and flagship of YouthBuild USA.

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