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YouthBuild Case Study

YouthBuild Case Study

Organization: Century Center for Economic Opportunity YouthBuild, Lennox, CA

URL: Videos about the relationship skills program at CCEO YB may be found at:

Funding: Healthy Marriage and Relationship grant (Office of Family Assistance)

Curricula used: Love Notes, Healthy Choices, Healthy Relationships, and Money Habitudes

Curricula benefits: The curricula meet the YB requirements for health classes, leadership development, life skills, and financial literacy.

Target Audience: At-risk, disconnected youth, ages 16-24

Audience Demographics: Primarily male and Hispanic; a few parents; some formerly incarcerated; all lacking high school diploma

Class size: 15-25 students

Location of Instruction: In the YouthBuild classrooms in Life Skills and Health classes, and in the YB workforce development program

Length of Instruction: 50 hours spread over nine months (2 semesters) HCHR was taught in health classes. LN and MH2 were taught in Life Skills classes conducted one day a week.

Instructor Training: All instructors were trained in a 2-day curriculum training with annual booster session. In the 4th year of the program, all staff including construction and office staff was also trained.

Utilization of teacher and student materials: Each instructor had a binder. Each student was provided a workbook.

Recruitment Process: Much of the recruitment to YouthBuild is by word of mouth from friends and family members who are in the program or have been through the program.Referrals are the number one source of new members.

Persons who have not been successful in a traditional school setting, are able to complete their high school requirements and earn a full high school diploma.

It is very encouraging to their peers.

Members are recruited into YB primarily over the summer although a secondary recruitment happens in the late fall.

Incentives to teachers and students: No incentives were given to students for relationship education training.

Outcomes: Students became more intentional about their relationships and more goal oriented.Two female students were overhead in the following conversation by an instructor.

One said that she was currently single and planned to not be involved romantically until she had accomplished her YB goals.

Her friend, said that she and her boyfriend were being very careful about birth control so that they both could complete their training and build a strong foundation for the future.

YouthBuild encourages their members to set personal goals beyond obtaining a high school diploma and learning a job skill.

Learning relationship skills fits well with goal setting because it allows the members to set personal, family, and life goals along with professional goals.


  • Completing instruction with maximum number of students attending.
  • Low literacy levels made using the workbooks difficult.
  • Reading is not a preferred learning style for the YB members.
  • All teaching is done through project learning to meet the needs to the students with low literacy levels, short attention spans, and English language learners.


  • Love Notes lessons were modified to include more project- based learning, which is a key part of the YB model.
  • Over time, we found it best to accelerate instruction as much as possible into the first semester as some students finish the program early.

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