YDI building being remodeled by teens in program | KOB 4
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YDI building being remodeled by teens in program

Emily Jaceks
November 13, 2018 08:10 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Youth Development Inc (YDI) in Albuquerque is getting a facelift. 

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“Our Youth Build program works with youth that have that interest in construction trade so they got that to show us what they've been learning in the classroom,” Concha Cordova, Vice President of Employment, Education and Training for YDI (Youth Development, Inc.)

The remodel is also symbolic of a new start for YDI. They've consolidated 5 of their 20 programs under one roof, allowing for better coordination between staff and their youth participants.

“So if we have a youth who is at risk of joining a gang, one of the best strategies for them is to get them involved in Youth Build. That can help them get their education and more geared on a career pathway and less focused on violent activity or behavior in the community. So it’s setting up a plan for them to access other resources,” Cordova said. 

The program offers a blank slate so new creativity can be unleashed at YDI, and new lives can be transformed, much like Shaun Sutton's.

“It’s like a game changer. It's a whole new dynamic in life. Changed it all. Changed my path,” Sutton said. 

Sutton said he was heading down a dangerous path, dabbling in drugs, before he dropped out of high school in 10th grade. But his life turned around when he found the organization's Youth Build and computer programs. Now, he's on his way to earning nearly $85,000 a year as an IT specialist, with only a GED. 

“I mean, I come from a family of like poverty, a lot of poverty, and the loop of poverty, the cycle, this place has offered me nothing but a way to get out of that, like a sling shot, like a launch, just way to get out, literally, it’s like the best things I’ve found so far,” Sutton said. 

To learn more about the YDI programs click here.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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