YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School’s mission is to empower young adults (17-20 year-olds) to develop skills and connect to opportunities by fostering an environment of love, support, and respect for their whole person. Students graduate high school and successfully transition to college and career as critically conscious leaders, committed to positive change for themselves and their communities.
In 1991, there was an urgent need to address the issue of out-of-school youth in Philadelphia. The dropout rate in the city’s public schools hovered at 50%, and there were few job-training opportunities available for young people without diplomas. With the support of a group of community representatives, YouthBuild Philadelphia began – in a single-room school with 28 students – based on Dorothy Stoneman’s YouthBuild USA Model. Today, our two-year program offers young adults without a high school diploma an opportunity to earn that credential while developing vital job skills through rigorous academics, vocational training and community service during year one, and postsecondary transition services to ensure academic and career success in year two.