YouthBuild program receives a $1,400 grant from the Community Knights GIFT

Contact: Nicholle Granger

August 11, 2022

Recently, the non-profit Community Knights handed out $24,000 in grants to local non-profits, schools, and other organizations through its Grant Initiative Fundraising Team or GIFT. 

Community Knights is a 501(c)(3) non-profit created to address deep budget cuts that hit our public schools and non-profits with the 2008 recession.

Their work began with supporting public schools and the non-profit community on the Virginia Peninsula experiencing funding shortages. Through regular local fundraising they have united individuals and organizations to work collaboratively to invest in our community.

Their mission is to identify the needs of small local non-profit and public school organizations as well as the populations they serve and finding innovative ways to help them meet these needs collaboratively.

Thanks to the $1,400 grant from the Community Knights our Newport News YouthBuild program will be able to provide 30-Day unlimited GoPasses through Hampton Roads Transit to 20 of our students to ride the bus, ferry and light rail. 

This will be very helpful since YouthBuild students are often from low-income households and receive public assistance. Students often rely on others for transportation. When transportation becomes a barrier to success and students miss class, skip interviews, or are chronically tardy for work, our case manager will work with the youth to identify and implement solutions. Providing students with an unlimited monthly bus pass as an interim solution keeps the student on track and provides time to implement a long-term solution.

Newport News YouthBuild is an integrated pre-apprenticeship program that annually serves 40 low-income youth ages 16 to 24 who struggle academically and are at-risk of unemployment. Youth are high school graduates with literacy/numeracy deficiencies or youth who did not complete high school and need to earn a high school equivalency.

Over a six-month period, youth learn basic academic skills, take workplace readiness classes, engage in soft skills instruction, and develop 21st Century skills. Many of the youth we serve require personalized support. 

Youth engage in classroom and hands-on training, covering theory and practice of construction concepts, including safety, tools and materials, blueprint reading, construction math, green building, and terminology required for in-demand jobs. Youth use their newly gained skills to build infrastructure and homes that meet needs in the community with our local partners.

Once coursework is completed, youth receive career counseling and direct linkages to jobs, followed by a 12-month monitoring and evaluation period. Hard work and perseverance mean nothing if youth can’t afford reliable transportation to get to classes, interviews, or work.

You can learn more about the YouthBuild program here.

You can learn more about The Community Knights here.

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