By | Published On: November 20th, 2020 |

Help others be #InspiredbyYB! DONATE TODAY.

Since March, YouthBuild Philly’s core values of Respect, Excellence and Perseverance have been tried and tested in so many different ways, but our staff and Board members – and above all our alumni and students – have risen to these challenges and continued to show up and show out as leaders. This past September, we celebrated 144 graduates in a socially-distant, highly-personalized ceremony at Bartram’s Garden – where we also started the year with our first all-school service project. Less than a week later, we held our first-ever virtual mental toughness training for an incoming class of 181 amazing and talented young people, and also enrolled another 47 students during a November enrollment period. The work that went into these accomplishments has been monumental – and required constant energy, motivation, and inspiration. 

This year’s graduates and our newly-enrolled Class of 2021 join close to 3,000 young leaders from across Philadelphia who have been #InspiredbyYB – encouraged to make positive changes in their own lives and communities. Our two featured alumni, Alex (2012) and Roland (2017), have used art and music respectively to instill positive change – both directly in their work, and in their support of others pursuing their dreams. Young people like Alex and Roland perfectly exemplify YouthBuild’s mission commitment to develop “critically conscious leaders.”

Since our founding, YouthBuild Philly students have dedicated more than 1,000,000 hours of community service collectively as AmeriCorps members. Hundreds of graduates have remained committed to this service ethic by organizing and working with local labor organizations, supporting grassroots efforts to end police brutality and community violence, serving with faith-based communities, and so much more. Our 2020 graduates and Class of 2021 enrollees find themselves in a unique position. As learners in virtual environments, YouthBuild students and graduates have a unique and important perspective on access to technology and distribution of resources across our City.

YouthBuild’s strong emphasis on data has included regular surveys of students to better align our instructional practices with student needs, while also creating ways for students to socialize in safe and socially distant environments. We have also relied on local and regional public health data to make difficult but necessary decisions surrounding our ability to reopen our physical school building for regular in-person instruction, and hope to do so as we begin the 2021 calendar year. As we prepare to make this transition, while continuing to serve our students and alumni with full-time instruction and mentorship, we need your support!

Your gift to YouthBuild this year will allow us to continue to serve the Class of 2021 and beyond as they engage as leaders in their community. Investments in our school directly impact a new generation of talented young people inspired, motivated and ready to lead. Gifts to this year’s #InspiredbyYB campaign will help to provide:

  • a safe return to school – classroom, worksite, and community service sites – for members of our Class of 2021
  • supplies and protective equipment to ensure the continued health and safety of our community
  • direct need-based grants to help students address ongoing out-of-school challenges such as housing, transportation, child care, and medical expenses
  • clubs and elective courses designed to build on students’ strengths in areas like creative writing, filmmaking, music production, art, robotics and more
  • continued development of cultural literacy and social identities training for students, staff and partners
  • enrichment opportunities such as meet-and-greets with local activists or elected officials, trips to local and regional museums, and conventions/trade shows for professional development and networking
  • college and trade school scholarships to offset the financial burdens of higher education

As YouthBuild Philly has faced some of its biggest challenges in recent memory, we’ve trusted in and relied on the same North Star that has guided us for nearly three decades: the power and promise of young people. We appreciate your ongoing support for our school, and we hope that you will consider a financial gift to YouthBuild this year to provide inspiration for a new generation of learners and leaders.

Any contribution that you make to YouthBuild Philly has a direct impact on the young people that we serve, and is greatly appreciated. Please visit our online donation page to make your gift today – first-time gifts to our school average around $100. We also offer monthly giving options if this better suits your situation – sustained gifts allow us to cut down on administrative time and better serve our students. If you have any questions about what your gift will mean for the school, please feel free to contact our Individual Giving Manager, Theo Molloy.

Thank you very much for your continued support of YouthBuild Philly. We wish you and your family good health, and hope to see you at a YouthBuild event when it is safe to do so.


In solidarity,


Scott Emerick


Executive Director

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