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Youthbuild student travels to Washington, DC

by admin last modified 2007-04-04 10:06

Rowan County YouthBuild student Preston Floyd of Farmers joined other student leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C., earlier this month to encourage legislators to support YouthBuild.

The local project is funded by a grant received by Morehead State University’s Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy (IRAPP) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“We were honored to have Preston represent our YouthBuild program and our community in Washington, D.C.,” said Loretta Stewart, director of the Rowan County YouthBuild. “He served as a role model for other young people in Morehead and proved that youth can make a difference in their communities and in the lives of others.”

There are 226 YouthBuild programs in the U.S that accept candidates who are low-income, high school dropouts, ages 18-24, who reside in the county.

In YouthBuild, the former students work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building or refurbishing affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their community. Since 1992, 68,000 participants have produced 16,000 units of affordable housing.

“It was an incredible experience in that I was able to see that YouthBuild was not an isolated program here in Morehead, but extends opportunities for young people like myself all over the U.S. and the world,” said Floyd.

The Rowan County program was established in the fall of 2005, and has partnered with various community groups, including Habitat for Humanity, to participate in the construction and/or rehabilitation of five houses in the Morehead area.

Floyd joined more than 100 young people that met with over 100 legislators and staff and shared their experiences and emphasized the need to support the expansion of the program to more communities and young people across the country.

Floyd also participated in a six-day conference hosted by YouthBuild USA. During that time, he met with YouthBuild students from across the country and discussed topics such as personal experiences with the program, the needs of programs and its participants, and the specific needs of programs located in rural communities.

Floyd won top honors in the conference’s debate competition and accompanied Dorothy Stoneman, the CEO and founder of YouthBuild, to meet with several members of congress to discuss the program’s positive impact.

“I very much enjoyed getting to know Preston, who did an outstanding job representing YouthBuild at the conference at every moment that I saw him,” said Stoneman.

Additional information about YouthBuild is available from Stewart by calling

(606) 783-9469.

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