San Diego

Charter School Gives Second Chance to Those Seeking Diplomas

YouthBuild’s program is designed to help young adults, ages 16 to 24, make long-term, positive changes while earning their diplomas

A new charter school in San Diego is trying to recruit students who dropped out of traditional high schools, helping them earn their diplomas while also training students for the workforce.

YouthBuild San Diego helps young people get a diploma, while also teaching students about construction. The goal is to train students for well-paying jobs, even before they graduate.

The charter school held a car show in Colina Del Sol on Saturday in hopes of attracting young people to their program.

“Cars attract the 16 to 24-year-olds -- the youth we’re trying to help,” said Terri Steele, the Director of Marketing at YouthBuild.

One of the raffle prizes at the car show was a backyard shed that students built this year.

Eventually, through the program, students will learn how to build homes, complete with wiring and plumbing. Instructors hope the skills will make the students more employable.

Student Luis Lopez, 23, has seen his confidence boost, knowing he will learn new skills and finally get his diploma.

Lopez says he was kicked out of his home when he was 13 years old. With a high school diploma now within reach, he is looking forward to a bright future.

“Right now, I’m looking forward to college, and after college, I want to be an actor,” Lopez said.

YouthBuild San Diego is partially funded through a $1.3 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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