Apr 15: YouthBuild coming to Pittsburgh?

In YouthBuild programs low-income youth ages 16 to 24 work full-time for 6 to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas and learn job skills by building affordable housing in their communities. Leadership training, education, and community service foster positive mini-communities that lead young people into college, careers, and civic engagement.

We hope you will join us for an inspiring evening with Dorothy Stoneman, founding director of  YouthBuild – she'll hold an informational and fund-raising session at a home in Squirrel Hill.  She'll bring several people actively involved in YouthBuild with her and there will be some local people who will be discussing their own plans to develop a sustainable YouthBuild project here in Pittsburgh.

Young people from YouthBuild programs will share their stories demonstrating that the power of love — coupled with genuine opportunities for education and self-development, hard work, and community service — can reverse the effects of past mistreatment and oppression, liberate enormous positive energy, and create an irresistible force for good.

Dorothy is an amazing person. She grew up in Massachusetts, and earned a BA from Harvard and a PhD from the Bank Street College of Education. In the 1960s, Dorothy started the Harlem Action Group, taught in the NY public schools and then initiated YouthBuild in 1978. The organization has since involved more than 100,000 young people throughout the US and has built more than 20,000 units. Dorothy has won numerous awards for her work, including a MacArthur “genius” Prize in 1996. And President Obama recently named her a “Champion of Change.” You can learn more about YouthBuild and about Dorothy at their web site: https://youthbuild.org/ .

7 p.m. at Michael & Naomi's home;  RSVP by email or at (412) 422-7515 .  Appetizers and beverages will be served.

Your faithful blogger Maren is among those looking forward to learning more at this session -- in addition to the lifelong connection with our next-door neighbor (and event host) Michael, the organization is based in Somerville, MA (where I spent a decade) and my sister also went to Bank Street.  My family has deep roots in education,  and this program also resonates with the Urban Farming Initiative that I helped start here in Pittsburgh, connecting disadvantaged urban youth with opportunities to grow food -- and in the process gaining job skills, understanding where food comes from, learning about nutrition, and getting active out in the fresh air doing something constructive.  All of these efforts are great community-builders!

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