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Jul 14, 2014

Bethany Christian Services is offering orientation sessions this month to encourage eligible candidates to consider application for their next YouthBuild session. YouthBuild is a program open to low-income residents of Kent County in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who have dropped out of traditional schooling and want an opportunity to move forward in life. Eighteen- to 24-year-olds with a passion to earn their GEDs, learn new skills, and commit to an intensive seven-month training period are eligible to apply. 

The orientation sessions detail not only the particulars of YouthBuild but a precursor to the program called Mental Toughness, scheduled to begin on July 28. Mental Toughness is a two-week try out where applicants are aggressively assessed physically, emotionally, and educationally to determine if they are ready and able to make the necessary commitment to complete the YouthBuild program. Those two weeks are followed by a final interview for those who have successfully completed Mental Toughness. Once accepted students are enrolled and start the seven-month program.

During that time YouthBuild students receive instruction leading to GED completion, gain construction industry skills, and participate in both personal and professional development. They are also exposed to field trips, group outings, and community service events. To support them in these endeavors, they receive support services, such as clothing, transportation, counseling, a small stipend, and the promise of follow-up services. A graduation is held at the end of the program to celebrate student success.

Rorey is a successful graduate of YouthBuild. He entered the program committed to earn his GED and develop construction skills so he could get a job. Faced with home responsibilities, early mornings, and record snowfalls, Rorey still continued to push forward before hitting a low spot after not passing a couple of GED tests. YouthBuild staff rallied around him and encouraged him to study on. Shortly before the completion of the seven-month YouthBuild program, Rorey passed his last GED test. 

Rorey has natural talent on the construction site. Despite cold conditions, dirty jobs, and some hard work, he showed great basic skills and a genuine interest in the field. By working closely with the construction trainer, Rorey was able to complete the safety training, earn his PACT Certification, and gain employment with a local contractor. Through his achievements and the opportunity to grow as a leader, Rorey has developed a drive and confidence that will take him on to the next stage of his life. Rorey has high praise for the YouthBuild program and has been spreading the word to friends and family. 

For more information or to receive a YouthBuild application packet, call 616.284.3283.

Listen to Bethany Christian Services’ Every Child podcast for more on issues relative to vulnerable children. From adoption and foster care to the introduction of sustainable social services in developing countries, Every Child features an informative discussion, led by Bethany’s president/CEO Bill Blacquiere, with leading voices from ministries and nonprofit organizations, as well as Christian authors and artists.

Bethany Christian Services is a leading global family preservation and child welfare agency.