Corpsmember Success Story: "William Got Serious" - American YouthWorks

Adapted from a post on the American YouthWorks website: July 12, 2012 - Rachel Matvy

In 2009, after dropping out of school, William came to American YouthWorks’s public charter high school, the Service Learning Academy. William, who was 18-years-old at this point, was of an age when many young people would already have graduated.  Through the Service Learning Academy’s self-paced program, he completed his high school credits in two years. However, William had difficulty passing the State test. While he studied, he joined AYW’s award-winning green construction program, which is designed to create pathways out of poverty for at-risk youth. He gained job skills and earned a small living stipend while he prepared for the test. In addition to job skills, William learned to give back to his community by building energy efficient homes for low-income home buyers.

It is important to note that American YouthWorks continued to serve William even though he had “aged out” of the school.  This meant that American YouthWorks no longer received State funding to serve him.  Through AYW programs, William earned his diploma and industry recognized job training certifications.   He ate breakfast and lunch every day in the AYW cafeteria and his son was cared for in the on campus child development facility.  All of this was provided at no cost to William or his family.  

William started at American YouthWorks in a place of uncertainty, and on June 30th, William will walk across the stage with his fellow students!  He’s graduating with job skills and is currently working with the City of Austin as an intern.  William is achieving his dream: to have a viable means to support his wife and son.

It is through generous gifts from donors that American YouthWorks is able to provide these types of desperately needed services to at-risk youth in Austin so that there will be more success stories like William’s.