In addition to investing in services and programs across Rhode Island, we believe it’s important to recognize the value of helping to strengthen Rhode Island’s nonprofit community.
We can be more successful in addressing important social issues if the community organizations we support are stable and can have the ability to focus on how to enhance their organizational effectiveness. That is why we have also made a commitment to fund capacity building grants that are focused on addressing fundamental organizational needs and improvements.
Capacity Building Profile: YouthBuild Preparatory Academy
Nonprofits are not just programs; they are businesses and we need to make sure they are running efficiently. That can be hard to do when we are focused mainly on delivering quality programs. How can I make this organization great for years to come and help as many young people as possible, while sustaining program quality? That is what’s constantly on my mind!
– Anthony Hubbard, YouthBuild Prep Academy Executive Director
YouthBuild Preparatory Academy (YBPA) is the second recipient of a capacity building grant from the Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation to support the development of a strategic plan that will serve as a blueprint to grow and sustain the organization. Having recently secured its own standing as a nonprofit after 22 years under the auspices of another organization, YouthBuild Preparatory Academy is ready to look internally and map the future for the organization to successfully transition from a program to becoming a school.
YBPA is an umbrella organization which is authorized to operate both a school and a YouthBuild program (YouthBuild Providence). An affiliate of YouthBuild USA, a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income young people become educated, productive adults in their communities, they are one of roughly 226 YouthBuild programs in the country.
The focus of the organization is to work with students in Providence who struggled in a traditional school setting or have left school, ensuring attainment of a high school diploma and demonstrate college and career readiness. YPBA’s YouthBuild program improves career readiness for the most at-risk and underserved youth, preparing them with practical work experience and helping them earn industry-recognized Home Builders Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Certifications.
Students can acquire skills and knowledge through hands-on experience at real work sites, as well as learning construction skills, strengthen decision-making and time-management skills and adopt stronger work habits. The program runs Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week and includes academic, service learning, and 450 hours of community service.
When thinking about the future of YouthBuild Preparatory Academy, Anthony Hubbard has big aspirations “I want to change the narrative. I want to change the perception of these young people as high school drop-outs to engaged young people in a program of choice where they can build a prosperous future for themselves. I want to take our program to the next level so we can support entrepreneurship and business plan development for those students ready to continue in their journey. I want us to be a true community development organization planned and operated by young people – as benefactors, they need to be at the table, take ownership of their futures, lead, encouraged to identify issues that impact them and supported in taking constructive action to create positive change.”
Planning for this vision requires commitment and time. Together, with a newly elected board of directors the organization is ready to formulate a plan that will strategically position YBPA to achieve long-term sustainability and world-class programming for years to come. “We are so grateful to Centreville Bank for valuing the significance of this work and the support to get this important effort in motion.”