When Naomi was 16, she was dealing with alcohol addiction, homelessness, and the loss of a loved one. When she dropped out of high school, a friend, a past YouthBuild member, recommended YouthBuild to her. Without any expectations, Naomi joined.
After enrolling in YouthBuild, she gained math and reading skills, earned her high school diploma, took part in construction and service projects, finished her court requirements, and served as a youth leader representative at the YouthBuild conference in Washington D.C.
Naomi was making changes in her life and she credits it to the support she found through the program. Even after completing the program, she maintains contact with the teachers and peers here.
To Naomi, perseverance was the big lesson (or one of the biggest lessons) YouthBuild taught her and she is determined to exercise it throughout all aspects of her life. “I didn’t like being homeless. I went to all the [YouthBuild] activities, focused my mind on getting my diploma, and I was in a court program to work on recovery.”
Now on her way to start her first semester at Community College of Vermont in the fall, Naomi hopes to achieve two things with her degree 1) assist people who are dealing with mental health and substance abuse problems and 2) allow others to express their emotions through art. She now has the skills to persist even when things are rough and sharing that with others is truly exciting!