This was originally published on Gainesville.com.
By Aida Mallard
The Institute for Workforce Innovation’s Project YouthBuild in partnership with Penn Foster Career School launched a high school completion program in the fall of 2014. And just two-years later in 2016, a record 93 percent of the students earned high school diplomas, with nearly 75 percent planning to pursue a post-secondary education. In 2014, 18 former high school dropouts earned regionally and nationally accredited high school diplomas. In the 2015-2015 school year, 19 of 22 students graduated from the program, and 14 of those 19 students have enrolled, or are planning to enroll in college.
Furthermore, 100 percent of the graduates have earned Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, and since 2013, the students have volunteered more than 33,000 hours on projects that include renovating 33 houses for local families in need in the Gainesville area.
Project YouthBuild, which was launched in 2009 by the Institute for Workforce Innovation through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, is an intensive seven-month academic, occupational, and leadership skills program that serves low income young people ages 16 – 24 who have dropped out of school. Penn Foster, a regionally and nationally accredited online career school, was founded in 1890 as an international correspondence school headquartered in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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