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As CSM is digging deep into the wholistic development of our communities, we see how young people in our communities have energy, talent, and intelligence that are being wasted solely for lack of opportunity. In the state of Alabama, 40% of all students entering High School will not graduate. These “opportunity youth” are in urgent need of pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership.
The YouthBuild program offers low-income young people the opportunity to learn construction skills to help build affordable housing and develop other community assets. YouthBuild is an employment training program for participants age 16-24 that combines GED classroom instruction and hands-on construction at actual work-site.
Cornerstone Revitalization from CSM strategic partner church, Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, has been awarded a grant to create this opportunity in Birmingham. CSM is coming alongside this ministry to identify projects they can learn from and assist. Our Housing Ministry staff and SWAT volunteers have been teaching this current class basic skills and working with them on various projects. We are honored and excited to be a part of this program to provide pathways that can unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, family, and community.