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The New Directions YouthBuild/ AmeriCorps Partnership is a comprehensive youth development program that offers HSE prep, job training, counseling and leadership development for out-of-school youths ages 16-24, through the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing in their neighborhoods. Participants pursue careers in construction, computer technology or health care. YouthBuild students are also members of AmeriCorps, a national service organization and Rotaract, a youth service program sponsored by Rotary International. Our trainees learn valuable skills that enable them to begin successful lives as young adults. 

To be eligible to participate in a YouthBuild program the youth must be:

A.  Not less than age 16 and not more than age 24, on the date of enrollment AND

B.  Be one or more of the following:

·         A member of a low-income family OR

·         A youth in foster care (including youth aging out of foster care) OR

·         A youth offender OR

·         A youth with a disability OR

·         The child of an incarcerated parent OR

·         A migrant youth

C. AND a school dropout


Up to 25% of participants may be youth who do not meet parts two or three of the above requirements provided that they are:

·         Basic skills deficient, even if they have their high school diploma or HSE; OR

·         Have been referred by a local secondary school to a YouthBuild program that leads to the attainment of a secondary school diploma.


The following is what you will find if you visit our program:

Individualized Instruction

teaching 1We deliver instruction that considers and builds upon students’ strengths, accounting for individual learning styles and needs in ways that create the greatest opportunity for student learning and success. 

Indicators include the following:

  • Initial assessments and individual education plans take into account academic, social, family and health issues that impact a student’s learning and development.
  • Individual education plans are reviewed and revised regularly to guide instruction and program activities – all instructional practices are student-centered
  • Educators build on students’ prior knowledge to help them learn new skills
  • Frequent opportunities are available for interaction and discussion between teachers and all students (through combination of group-based and individual interactions)
  •  All students are held to consistently high expectations, but all students also progress at their own individual learning pace

Variety of Approaches Employed for Instructional Relevancy

We use a mixture of instructional approaches to make instruction relevant to students’ lives, interests and culture. Indicators include the following:

  •  Instruction is based on real-life situations and employs relevant content to develop knowledge
  •  Instruction emphasizes information exchange and active learning rather than information delivery
  •  Learners are actively engaged; learning is based on student exploration
  •  Instruction elicits input from students in class and in designing and reflecting on class work
  •  Instruction includes project and inquiry-based learning opportunities
  • Educators engage students to learn in collaborative settings
  • Educators use a wide variety of instructional materials (textbooks, projects, software and other resources) which are current and relevant to students’ lives

Strong and Meaningful Relationships

group hug

We strive to improve instruction by ensuring strong, nurturing and sustained relationships between students and caring, knowledgeable adults.  Indicators include the following:

  • Educators know all the students’ names and each student is well known by staff
  • Educators consistently demonstrate respect and value for all students
  •  Relationships between educators-students; educators-educators; and students-students are all sufficiently strong to build a strong and interactive learning community in the school
  • School activities/events evidence intentionality around relationship building

Rigorous Instruction Aligned with Expectations for Postsecondary Success

We deliver rigorous instructional curriculum which is sufficient to prepare graduates for successfully completing credit-bearing work at postsecondary institutions.  Some indicators are:

  • Core curriculum competencies ensure students develop critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills necessary to deeply engage in all content areas
  • Students develop and demonstrate high levels of competency in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Curriculum standards meet or exceed state standards for graduation and sufficiently prepare students to succeed in postsecondary course work (credit-bearing)
  •  Effective numeracy and literacy practices are effectively integrated throughout the program


Healthy School Climate Promotes Learning

All staff help create learning environments which consistently promote effective teaching and learning efforts.  Indicators include the following:

  • School environment is positive, welcoming and nurturing
  • School environment is reflective of youth interests and culture
  • Students and educators help keep the school campus clean
  • All students and educators feel safe and supported in the school

Educators Continue Developing Skills/Knowledge to Support Student Learning

We create formal structures and informal opportunities which promote the continued development of educators to dramatically improve student learning. Some indicators are:

  • Educators have sufficient planning time
  •  Educators have common and collaborative planning time
  •  Educators have access to mentoring and coaching
  • Educators are part of professional learning communities that support their individual development
  • Faculty and staff have sufficient opportunities to develop and practice new knowledge and skills
  •  Professional development is aligned with the needs of teacher to effectively support students

Future Focus of Instructional Practices

graduationWe create explicit pathways for students to make smooth, seamless and well-informed transitions into their future and connections between these pathways and classroom instructional activities.  Indicators include the following:

  • Program consistently helps students focus on their future pathways through classroom embedded awareness, exposure and preparation activities – especially around postsecondary opportunities
  • Program provides transition services so students complete the program with plans for and support around their next steps in education, career and life
  • Significant student work results are documented in meaningful ways, including student portfolios, that can help translate student experiences into tangible products of interests to postsecondary institutions, credential programs, employers, etc
  • Students are asked to consider, develop and articulate clear plans for their future
  •  Procedures are in place to follow students’ progress after they leave the program and to use this information to support the student and improve the program


Construction Training

Our construction curriculum, PACT (Pre-Apprenticeship Certification Training), developed by the Home Builders Institute of the National Association of Home Builders, addresses all aspects of general construction, including green and other emerging technologies. 

The following competencies are expected to be achieved by each participant: 

  • OSHA 10-hour safety skills
  • CPR/First Aid skills
  • general construction skills
  • construction Math
  • portable power tools
  • stationary machine skills
  • construction planning skills
  • preparing the building site
  • demolition
  • building and installing forms
  • floor framing skills
  • exterior wall framing skills
  • interior wall framing skills
  • framing ceilings and roofs
  • exterior finishing skills
  • interior finishing skills
  • erecting staging
  • work habits and career readiness
  • other skills


Technology Integration

We incorporate information and communication technologies as instructional tools throughout the curriculum.  Indicators:

  • Appropriate instructional technology available in adequate numbers to be accessible to all
  • Students regularly use information technology to access and categorize information; to prepare, revise and present their work; and to communicate
  • Technology tools are integrated throughout classroom and other program activities in ways that help prepare students for future educational and workforce opportunities




Empowerment in Decision-making

We ensure all staff, faculty and students achieve an equal voice in shaping the development of program, school and classroom activities.  Indicators include:

  • Young people participate in decision-making with adults, mobilize and create or change policy, and take influential leadership roles in key school decisions
  • Student ideas and opinions are consistently sought and valued by staff
  • Staff and students both have consistent opportunities to influence instructional decisions


Authentic Assessment

We have measurable outcomes for student learning and related assessment efforts which consistently guide and improve instructional delivery.  Indicators include:

  • Student progress is consistently assessed, through multiple mechanisms, including the use of authentic student work products, presentations and performances.
  • Continuous assessment work provides feedback to the teacher on the effectiveness of their instruction and what students know
  • Student progress data is supplemented with program results data, and both are reflected upon to improve instructional delivery
  • Student outcomes are measured in appropriate quantitative and qualitative ways
  • All assessment efforts are aligned with academic standards of the school/state/postsecondary partner institution(s)



Through construction skills training, our students learn the value of their hard work, and the role they can play in strengthening their communities. On our construction sites, students build affordable housing for home assistance programs and low-income, first-time homeowners. These homes employ various green technologies, including energy efficient design, sustainably produced materials, alternative energy sources, and more. Special projects also benefit local nonprofits and community agencies. At New Directions YouthBuild , young people play an active role in helping the community and the environment.

 Most students complete the YouthBuild training program in 6-10 months. When students meet all program requirements, our counselors work with them to find jobs, join a union, and/or go to college or advanced training program.
To find out if the program is right for you, please call us to find out about upcoming orientation sessions: 845.452.8574

To apply for the program, please stop by our offices to fill out an application. You may also print out and complete the program application, then deliver or mail it to:

Nubian Directions
Attn: YB Program Applications
248-250 Main Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


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