GUEST BLOGGER: Dorothy Stoneman, YouthBuild USA Founder & CEO


When a group of East Harlem youth wanted to “take empty buildings back from the drug dealers, rebuild the houses, and eliminate crime,” we founded the first YouthBuild program 35 years ago to provide opportunities for young people who had dropped out of high school to earn their GEDs or high school diplomas, while learning job skills rebuilding affordable housing and leadership development skills to become the future leaders of their communities.

Since then, YouthBuild programs have empowered 120,000 young people from low-income communities across the United States to rebuild their communities and their lives. YouthBuild USA and the network of local YouthBuild programs have accomplished this growth through dynamic public-private partnerships that leverage foundation and corporate grants, as well as individual donations, with federal, state, and local government funding.

Ira Silver’s new book Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream calls on donors to give the gift that keeps on giving to 75 nonprofits not well-known by the public, including YouthBuild USA. These nonprofits diminish poverty by providing opportunities for those who without these gifts might be without hope forever.

I am particularly pleased that Ira featured the story of a YouthBuild graduate, Joel, who recently became Director of Graduate Leadership Development at YouthBuild USA. He is now inspiring thousands of low-income young people youth to transform their own lives and rebuild their communities.

If you are inspired by Giving Hope and believe in contributing to an organization that is engaging young people to lift themselves out of poverty while becoming tomorrow’s leaders, please donate to YouthBuild USA today or make a donation to one of the other featured nonprofit organizations to help restore the American dream.