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When we profiled them earlier this year, Project YouthBuild had successfully partnered with Penn Foster to implement a blended learning solution that provided a new option for their young people to earn their high school diploma while creating pathways to college & career success. We recently checked-in with Project YouthBuild and found that they have continued to experience success with the program. At the end of the year, a cohort of 18 students who started the program, a record 93% have completed the program with nearly 75% of the graduates planning to pursue post-secondary education, with many graduates enrolling in the highly ranked Santa Fe Community College. Post-secondary programs these graduates plan to enroll in include, but are not limited to, automotive, allied health, technology, and business.

Jonathan Leslie, the executive director and chief executive officer of IWI, which operates Project YouthBuild, spoke highly of the supportive environment and actions of the graduates: "They encourage each other to reach not only their academic goals, but also their career goals."

Through the use of this blended learning model, Project YouthBuild's young people are able to complete the program at their own pace while receiving both online and in-person academic support. The program is supplemented by two Project YouthBuild elective components consisting of Construction, focused on hands-on career training, and Leadership Development, which focuses on community impact, volunteerism, and life skills. Young people completing the program can become eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which provides scholarships for post-secondary education.

The future's looking bright for Penn Foster's blended learning program Project YouthBuild, as they plan to enroll an additional 22 students in their fall cohort, their highest enrollment numbers yet through the program.

Learn more about how YouthBuild programs across the country are increasing options for their young people to earn a high school diploma. Read the case study:

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