A Nonprofit Community Enterprise

Looking Back, with Gratitude

Trevor joined YouthBuild halfway through his senior year of high school when he recognized he wasn’t going to be able to graduate on time. He recalls, “Conventional schooling just didn’t work out for me,” and after seeing one of his friends enjoying YouthBuild, he decided to enroll.


As a program graduate, he is thankful for how it has helped him to navigate through life. “YouthBuild taught me how to remain positive through dark times. I learned I like building something from scratch and fixing something that’s broken.”


He spoke more to this point when describing the shed his cohort built at Roosevelt Park—“It was cool being able to see just a slab of concrete in the ground turn into a shed that is going to be there for years and years.”


After graduating, Trevor worked briefly as a barista and dishwasher, but didn’t like the isolation and fast-paced nature of restaurant work. He then started at Costco, where he has worked his way up from a Cashier Assistant to Tire Shop Supervisor over the past three years. He credits YouthBuild for teaching him “hard work and dedication—seeing a project through…and remaining positive because life’s not easy” and acknowledges that these lessons have helped him get this position where he is now financially stable and living on his own.


“That’s why people end up in YouthBuild because their life wasn’t easy—I mean my life wasn’t. I’m doing well for myself now, I still have those subtle reminders like hey, I need to keep pushing forward, it doesn’t stop now that I’m comfortable.”


Though Trevor admits his time with YouthBuild wasn’t always easy either. He remembers “working in rain, snow, and sleet” and in “yucky hot attics,” but reflects on the “lifelong friendships” he made with fellow students and instructors. He also appreciates the lifelong skills he now possesses—“say something happens where I can’t work at Costco, I have a trade I can fall back on—whether its weatherization or carpentry—I’ll still start from the bottom, but I can work my way up.”


Trevor recommends YouthBuild to students who “can’t just do school. It’s a good program—I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.”

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