Youth Build positive for community

Published 12:46 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

An announcement last week of a program returning to Natchez focused on giving troubled youth a second chance has great significance. Don’t overlook it.

The Youth Build Program soon will return to Natchez as the Natchez Housing Authority received a $720,000 grant to help fund the work.

The program’s mission is to help young people, ages 16 to 24, who do not have a job and are not in school.

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Youth Build is akin to an apprenticeship in which participants receive real-world construction experience while also working toward either a high school diploma or GED.

Formalized education and higher education are not for everyone. Some people respond far better to doing things physically than to sitting still in a classroom.

Study after study indicates that crime is linked to educational attainment. But sometimes those studies give a false impression that everyone must get a college degree. In fact the issue is less about the degree than about the dependence or independence one gets with the ability to work and earn a good, honest living.

People who become educated — either through traditional schooling or through vocational and technical trades — learn to sustain themselves without depending upon others and without turning to crime.

That’s what America was once all about and what it should return to soon. Youth Build, in a small part, may help that happen in our community.