United Way grants helping young adults rebuild the community

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A house in the Stockade Section of Schenectady has some significant flood damage, but it’s getting rehabbed thanks to a grant program from the United Way.

The program funds local programs like YouthBuild Schenectady through the SEAT Center, which gives young adults a hands-on way to change their community, one nail at a time.

Carpentry under the supervision of a licensed contractor is how Jonathan Murray, a 23 single father, is choosing to re-direct his life by sewing positive energy into his community.

“The fact that I’m building a house and a family is going to be use it, it’s good to know that I’m helping a family in need,” Murray, Youth Build participant, said.

Eighteen to 24 year olds who dropped out of high school and are looking for a change of perspective are the candidates for this workforce development program.

The hands-on type of training will be invaluable to the future of these young adults. The more you know, the more valuable you will be.

“I think it’s just getting into the flow of it,” Murray said. “This is completely new to me, so it’s all about adapting.”

Murray who has aspirations of being a hotel manager and graduating from Schenectady Community College says he wants to be known as a positive figure in his community.

The YouthBuild program is preparing him with all of the tools necessary to make that dream a reality.

“I think it’s empowering,” Contractor John Howard said. “A lot of these young adults are parents or could potentially be bread winners within their households. So, I think it’s empowering for them to get out and get a sustainable wage job where they can provide for themselves and their families.”

For this single father, this is one constructive use of time that has cut out some of the guess work when planning the future of his family.

“You know, honestly I have no idea,” Murray said. “I can’t imagine myself anywhere greater than what YouthBuild has given me.”

The YouthBuild program is nine months long with 12 months of follow up services after placement in a job or college.

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