State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) delivered the commencement speech to the 2016 graduates of the YouthBuild Cleveland Program. 
 
YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for youth ages 16-24. Youth learn construction skills while constructing or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families. The students of the program split their time between the construction site and the classroom, where they earn their GED or high school diploma, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for college and other postsecondary training opportunities. YouthBuild includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, personal counseling services, and participation in community service and civic engagement.
 
Together, the class completed one renovation project, installed the kitchen cabinets in the new OhioGuidestone workforce 360 building, completed over 250 hours of community service as a class, and all received their basic construction certification.
 
"These young men and women have achieved a great accomplishment; one in which they should be very proud of,” Anielski said. “It was an honor to speak to the graduating students and offer additional guidance and commendation as they embark on their next chapter in life.  I look forward to the many great things that these graduates will provide to their communities being politely persistent.”

 
 
 
  
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