YouthBuild student Arnez McCorkle races to put a wooden fraction puzzle back together before program directors, transition coordinators and instructors during the Spring 2016 Postsecondary Education Initiative Convening. Photo by Louise Jett, L&C Media Specialist

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Adult Education department and Building Futures YouthBuild Americorps program hosted YouthBuild USA’s Spring 2016 Postsecondary Education Initiative Convening in April.

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“It was an honor to be joined by other YouthBuild programs across the nation to address the importance of post-secondary education placement for our opportunity youth,” said Director of L&C’s Building Futures Sabrina Davis. “We worked in collaboration with L&C faculty and leadership to deliver information that was both informative and inspiring. I am proud to be a part of a college that supports the YouthBuild mission and all students gaining access to higher education.”

The purpose of the Spring 2016 Postsecondary Education Initiative Convening was to create strong graduate support systems and interventions to increase the percentage of YouthBuild students completing high school and postsecondary credentials.

“The participants were very happy with their experience and loved the way that L&C and YouthBuild allowed us to really get a sense of how the programming impacts students,” said YouthBuild USA Director of Education Jason Marshall. “Additionally, the YouthBuild and L&C staff worked so well together that the logistical flow was smooth and the workshop content was very strong. We were very satisfied.”

The conference was held on L&C’s Godfrey Campus and at the newly renovated Scott Bibb Center, which is home to L&C’s YouthBuild, Highway Construction Training, Family Education, English as a Second Language and GED programs.

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“We chose L&C because the YouthBuild leadership was so enthusiastic to host, which is always good, but we also knew that they had a lot to offer in terms of the college partnership with YouthBuild and also giving us a taste of how the YouthBuild program can operate in a more rural-type setting,” Marshall said.

Experts from L&C’s program discussed a variety of best practices and possibilities, including student-designed projects, Mockingbird class management techniques, classroom design, mentoring, partner development strategies, mental toughness, tools for teaching, building a community of experts, civic reflections and more.

“It’s exciting to see YouthBuild program directors, transition coordinators, instructors and their postsecondary partners participate in workshops tailored to learning the needs of different of YouthBuild students,” said L&C Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris. “We were honored to host this event, which was a wonderful demonstration of our best practices.”

YouthBuild USA helps low-income students learn construction skills, in America and other parts of the world. L&C’s YouthBuild program focuses on giving young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 the opportunity to earn their GED and learn job skills in construction or the health sciences industry.

Participants gain real-world skills by completing service projects in the community and are eligible to earn an education award through AmeriCorps for postsecondary education or training once they complete their service hours. Participants also receive support services including career development, mentoring and counseling.

“YouthBuild students are giving back to their community while getting back on track educationally, and they are learning the skills necessary to become our future leaders,” Harris said.

To learn more about L&C’s YouthBuild program, visit To learn more about YouthBuild USA, visit

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