Phoenix Rising YouthBuild: Rising to the Occasion

Posted by Jake Sotir on October 31, 2018

Since 2014, Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA have partnered to provide YouthBuild students with Penn Foster's accredited high school diploma program as well as other relevant skills training to prepare students for their future careers.

In particular, the Phoenix Rising YouthBuild location in Ocala, FL has had incredible success with the program. On June 7th, they welcomed their newest class of 13 graduates, all of whom completed their high school education through Penn Foster's program. In 2018 as a whole, Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has seen their students achieve a remarkable 100% graduation rate.

According to Phoenix Rising Program Manager Kimberly Grey, the reason that Penn Foster's model works so well is because of the flexible nature of the environment and the students' continued commitment to their own improvement.

"With only six students in the classroom at any given time, they do get that personalized attention, but can still study at their own pace," Grey said. "They have someone there for them, but they can also study and do work at home so they don't feel pressured by other kids being in different places than them. Students will often actually end up mentoring and assisting each other to help them move forward."

And move forward, they absolutely do. According to the Phoenix Rising team, nearly 100% of students go directly into employment after graduation, working to create a better life for themselves and their families.

This year's graduation ceremony featured a personal account of this exact scenario, as former Phoenix Rising YouthBuild graduate Kristian Young spoke about his own experience with YouthBuild and the mark it made on his life.

Young's life is a testament to how YouthBuild can help young people build better lives for themselves, and he spoke of how his experience in the program led him to want to give back to his own community. After graduating from Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, Young moved on to play basketball at the collegiate level, and he now coaches basketball at the local YMCA in Citrus County. Speaking directly to the class of graduates, Young said simply, "Don't ever doubt yourself. You should be so proud of yourselves."¹

Between Penn Foster's flexible high school diploma program and the Habitat for Humanity home construction project that all students are required to take part in, YouthBuild USA is able to prepare students to be productive members of their communities upon graduation from the program.

Phoenix Rising's next class of 12 graduates has already achieved a 100% graduation rate of their own, and their ceremony will be held on December 6th, 2018. Congratulations to all of the recent and future graduates at Phoenix Rising YouthBuild!

Source: (1) LinkedIn Pulse Blog

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