Friends and family gathered this evening in Gulfport to celebrate the graduation of 24 local youth ages 16 to 24 from Climb CDC’s Youthbuild Program.
Over the past year, the program participants have learned new life skills, financial literacy, along with other job-training and educational opportunities to set them up for success.
At the start of the program, some participants had a high school diploma while others only had a seventh-grade education.
In the next two weeks, with the help of Youthbuild, all 24 youth will have a high school diploma, in addition to mentors and community connections to help them in the years to come. Climb CDC COO jake Cook said, “When these young people came in, again some of them had given up– their families, some of the school systems. They had given up on the traditional education programming. So, this is a way to– a second chance for a lot of them. And just to show them the encouragement and show them all the hard work that you put in, all the time that you sat down and listened to me fuss at you and stay on you about the little things, now we’re just going to celebrate getting through all that. And now we understand that, that you understand what all that meant and we were just building.”
Climb CDC is actively recruiting its next Youthbuild class for this fall. To be a part of the program call 228-864-667.