Jamie Brown is an Ohio University Chillicothe student studying communications and graduating this spring. Jamie is also participating in the Community Work-Study Program as an Education Assistant at YouthBuild, a program of Sojourner’s Care Network. YouthBuild is a government funded program, under the purview of the Department of Labor, tasked with developing education and vocation systems in at risk communities. YouthBuild programs serve 16–24-year-old youths in their pursuits of education and vocation training. There are nearly 300 YouthBuild programs across the United States and around the world.
As an Education Assistant at YouthBuild, Jamie works with at-risk students in the Chillicothe community. YouthBuild serves youth pursuing GED and secondary diplomas. They also work together on community service projects and build relationships with local businesses to help build positive labor futures.
“My favorite part of my work with YouthBuild is knowing the value of my work,” Jamie says. “At-risk students face challenges that require immediate intervention and having that experience from immersion helps me to appreciate the work in real time.”
Jamie feels that community engagement is central to his desire to do meaningful work. He described his experience with YouthBuild as an inspiring and hopeful pursuit and encourages other college students to engage in their communities. He thinks that they could greatly benefit from similar experiences that correspond with their majors and interests.
Jamie says, “Having a passion for equity and equality, community engagement is central to building stronger futures in the United States. Opportunities exist in all of the places where at risk people are under served in labor, the economy, and housing. YouthBuild has only intensified the important intersectional dynamics of social justice."
In addition to participating in the Community Work Study Program, YouthBuild is currently recruiting volunteers at their Chillicothe site. The Community Work Study Program accepts students on a rolling basis for paid positions with a variety of nonprofit partners. Interested students can complete the form found here: ohio.givepulse.com/group/436209-Community-Work-Study to request admission to the program and check their work-study eligibility status.