The mission of The YouthBuild Preparatory Academy (YBPA); – is to prepare young people ages 14 – 21 for postsecondary education, career, and leadership in a global society.
YB Prep serves young people – many of whom are off-track academically – ages 14-21 in grades 9-12. To ensure our students attain a high school diploma and can demonstrate college and career-readiness, we offer a rigorous, relevant and standards-driven educational model. To ensure rigor and mastery, all course content is aligned to the Rhode Island Common Core, State, and Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, because many of our students enroll with inadequate content knowledge and skills, the model includes strategies (e.g., frequent assessments and out-of-class supports) to accelerate learning to make certain students attain a high school diploma before they age-out of the public school system.
Based on our experience, many of the young people YBP has served over the years have not understood the “true value” of education. To instill this value, we have learned that education programming must be both challenging and relevant. Students – especially the young men we serve – must see a “pay-off” for their efforts delivered in the near future. Therefore, in addition to the core academic content required of all Rhode Island public high schools, YB Prep offers three career-focused Academies based on the professions of primary interest to the young people we serve. Each is derived from a social justice/community development theme to which YBP students have connected. These include:
- Academy for Community-Building: Involves two components: the construction program and community-building is the foundation of all YouthBuild programs. Content, knowledge and skill-building in the construction trades provide the vehicle by which young people “rebuild” or “redevelop” their communities. The coursework includes Common Core-aligned mathematics (i.e., basic math concepts, algebra and geometry), safety, construction technology, carpentry, masonry, electrical, etc. Coursework also includes practical applications (i.e., client description and site planning, intro to design project, etc.) and on-the-job training (i.e., constructing and rehabbing homes). Students graduate from the Construction Academy with industry-recognized certifications including those awarded by HBI’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training. They also receive 12 college credits from the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). Lastly, all Academy for Community Building students must successfully complete a Senior Design Project to demonstrate mastery of core academic and sustainable design elements.
- Academy for Human Services: Enrolled students are exposed to various types of human service professions including: counseling, coaching, therapy, youth development, social justice and community organizing. In addition, Human Services Academy students are dual-enrolled at CCRI in the case management certification program where they take generalist courses in social work and human services to gain a deeper understanding of the human service discipline; and participate in practical experience via internships with agencies focused on youth development, the elderly and community organizing.
- Academy for Future Teachers: The framework for this program is modeled after The Future Teachers Pathway of Georgia State University. Enrolled students engage in an early pre-service apprenticeship designed to provide content knowledge and practical experience in teaching. Students learn from and collaborate with college faculty, and gain practical experience by tutoring young people in area middle schools and the lower YB Prep grades. Programming focuses on targeted teaching shortage areas including early childhood and secondary math and science. Course content includes: mathematics; the physical and life sciences; basic pedagogy; various career track exposure; the importance and relevance of STEM; and urban and multicultural education. Students are dual-enrolled at CCRI’s Teacher Assistant Training Program where they learn about the roles and responsibilities, human development, school laws, and positive classroom climate. Upon receipt of their high school diploma and successful completion of all classes, Academy for Future Teachers graduates are awarded a certificate recognized by RIDE.
The young Scholars who will enroll in our YouthBuild Prep Academy will be considered an asset, and therefore, are believed to be a critical element in solving the challenges facing our community. This belief is operationalized by principles that guide the formulation, execution, and evaluation of all academic content, pedagogies, assessments, support services and postsecondary readiness activities. In sum, the following guiding principles will help our school community support the development of students’ intellectual skills and confidence to influence and drive decision-making within their communities and beyond.
- We Value and Care About Our Students
- We Are Committed to Ensuring Every Student is a Success
- Our Work Is Grounded in Integrity, Honor, and Excellence
- We Are Responsive and Accountable to Our Community
- Our Students and Alumni Are Impactful
Pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-3.1-21, YouthBuild is a statutorily-authorized “diploma-granting secondary education program.” This status has been affirmatively recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Education (“RIDE”).