Archive Page 2

Prudential volunteers and YouthBuild Newark students work together

YouthBuild Newark students and Prudential employees measure sheetrock together. PHOTO BY AKINTOLA HANIF


Prudential employees got a piece of the sheetrock today when they went to work at YouthBuild Newark’s newest program site, under construction on 15th Avenue.

About ten volunteers from Prudential’s Real Estate Department got construction tips from students, who showed them how to measure and install sheetrock.

After a short time on the job, they had already learned a few things.

“I’m definitely learning safety first and communication is the key,” said Tony Stivale, Vice President of Corporate Real Estate at Prudential.
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Rosaly: ‘I won’t give up.’

YouthBuild Newark student Rosaly is determined to get her GED. PHOTO BY AKINTOLA HANIF.

Rosaly sits in a basement classroom alone, working on her essay.

She is easily distracted by other students, so she sought out a quiet place to write.

Since Rosaly came to YouthBuild Newark in the fall, she’s been finding ways to cope with her learning difficulties. She devised her own methods of preparing for the GED test, and studies diligently, no matter how frustrating that can be.

“You can’t go anywhere without that piece of paper,” says Rosaly, who is 19. “This is what you need in life.”

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YouthBuild Newark inspires South Africans

YouthBuild Newark students show South African officials our independent living facility under construction on South Orange Avenue. PHOTO BY AKINTOLA HANIF

Most YouthBuild Newark students haven’t heard stories of apartheid, a form of racial segregation similar to the Jim Crow laws of the South. But they have some things in common with the youth of South Africa, which didn’t abolish apartheid until 1994.

“Although we may be worlds apart, the issues we face are very much the same: Poverty, unemployment. I hear you have a high drop-out rate in Newark, too…And I’m sure you’ve probably experienced some form of racism,” Yershen Pillay, an official with the South African National Youth Development Agency told students. (NYDA)

But the South African government sees YouthBuild as a way to change that. Read more

YouthBuild Newark Volunteers Plant Trees for Arbor Day

Ashanti plants a flowering cherry tree in the neighborhood where she was raised. PHOTO BY AKINTOLA HANIF.

A tree grows in the Newark neighborhood Ashanti used to call home. And she planted it there.

Ashanti was one of several YouthBuild Newark students who celebrated Arbor Day by planting cherry trees, maples and red pines in the Fairmount section of the city, where  the streets are dotted with burnt-out, boarded up buildings.

But the  mass planting, coordinated  by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, brightened six blocks around the 13th Avenue School, where more than 500 volunteers from all over the state, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, planted a total of 221 trees.

It wasn’t easy. As YouthBuild student Ebony learned, the rocky soil near the school was tough to dig up, and the trees weighed a few hundred pounds.   Read More