Service Learning & Leadership Development

Creating a sense of Community

YB’s leadership development and service learning programming and activities complement each other. Scholars participate in a biweekly seminar course focused on personal and professional development skills including, but not limited to: financial literacy, employability, parenting and healthy relationships. Students hone their leadership skills through the creation of and participation in service projects of their own design. YB students also participate in school leadership and governance providing input into school decision-making. We believe this applied approach to leadership development and service learning enhances students’ self-esteem and significantly improves their communication skills. YBP’s successful experience with this approach provides evidence that this scholar-driven model has led to more meaningful service learning, and a greater sense of ownership among youth, thereby reinforcing leadership skills within and outside of the classroom.

Service Learning provides a way for YouthBuild students (and staff!) to connect to Providence’s neighborhoods in positive and tangible ways while building their confidence and skills.As quarter-time AmeriCorps members, YouthBuild students devote additional time (beyond the construction of low-income housing) to other projects that develop their leadership skills and serve the community. Students who complete the required service-learning hours earn a college scholarship of $1,566.

As part of our new programming, YBP also offers Service Learning Academy. SLA is an opportunity for students who want to explore careers and service outside of construction. In addition to construction training, SLA students earn additional service hours by choosing a field (healthcare, childcare, environmental studies, or social justice) and working at community organizations that address issues within that field. SLA students also complete academic work and participate in training and professional development in their chosen field.