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YouthBuild Public Charter School (YouthBuild PCS), an independently-operated public charter school in the District of Columbia, was established in 2005 as an outgrowth of an effective program begun in 1995 by the Latin American Youth Center. It is one of the few alternative schools in the District of Columbia that serves youth ages 16 -24 who have dropped or aged out of traditional high schools.
YouthBuild Public Charter School (YBPCS) is an alternative high school for young people seeking to transform their lives by re-engaging in their education in a non-traditional school environment. YBPCS prepares students for post-secondary education and the workplace by offering, in English and Spanish, academic, vocational and workforce development programs. YBPCS believes that service to the community is an essential part of the transformative process. Therefore, students serve their community through volunteer projects and by creating housing for low income residents in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
The underlying philosophy of the school is that through education, young people at risk—even those who have experienced failure—can learn to respect themselves and lead lives with dignity as contributing members of society. The following principles constitute the philosophical core and spirit of YouthBuild PCS and are the basis for all educational programs:
- Profound respect for where students are in their development and for their potential to learn and grow
- Certainty that young people can take control over their own lives
- Certainty that young people require a safe and structured learning environment
- Certainty that young people require support from adult role models to sustain their efforts to build a future
- Certainty that meaningful work can be transformative
- Certainty that positive values and high standards must be taught and modeled for young people
- Certainty that teaching academic, employment and social skills in a holistic approach is essential for young people
- Commitment to helping students to achieve the goals outlined in their individualized plans
- Certainty that young people must be challenged to change self-destructive behavior and negative attitudes
- Commitment to maintaining an environment where diversity is respected and understood
Our governance has been crafted to embrace our community, families and staff. YouthBuild PCS is overseen by a Board of Trustees that includes educators, financial experts, business owners, union leaders, construction specialists, community partners, fundraising professionals, and alumni. YouthBuild PCS is an independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization authorized by the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board to operate as a public charter school.