Program lets young adults ‘build’ their futures
By Angie Mason
Milwaukee’s riots last summer were a sad reminder of the city’s greatest need: opportunities for all young people to succeed. Since 2004, opportunities have been provided by the YouthBuild program at Milwaukee Christian Center (MCC), one of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ 16 Neighborhood Action Program (NAP) Christian centers.
Each year, 23 young adults sign on for a year of service, learning how to construct a home while attaining their GED. For many, it’s a transformative experience, challenging their self- perception as they assemble—from foundation to roof—a new home for a family eager to invest in the neighborhood. They become “doers,” shaping not only a house but also a future of providing for themselves and their families.
Ariel Dotstry, a recent graduate who earned his GED and is now advancing his career as an apprentice for a Milwaukee-area construction firm, reminded those present that, to succeed, youth need determination and grit.
“I haul a whole lot of concrete in my new job,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, I’m proud of providing for my little girl.”
MCC’s YouthBuild is all about challenging Milwaukee young adults to believe in themselves, in their community, in Milwaukee.
Gifts to the America for Christ Offering support NAPs and their programs, including MCC and its YouthBuild program.
Angie Mason is MCC’s Resource Development director.