CDSA to host YouthBuild graduation tonight

Community Development Support Association

ENID, Okla. — Community Development Support Association will host a graduation ceremony for its YouthBuild program at 6 p.m. Friday at Stride Bank Center.

Twenty-three students will receive their high school diplomas.

During their nine-month program, CDSA YouthBuild students have "had opportunities to earn so much more than a high school diploma," according to a CDSA press release.

In addition to their diploma, many YouthBuild students go on to earn their OSHA-10 certification, Home Builder’s Institute pre-apprenticeship certification in construction, CPR and first aid certification, and forklift certification. Through a partnership with Autry Technology Center and The Commons, students enrolled in the Construction Plus program also can earn their CNA certification and participate in paid work experiences.

Students graduating from YouthBuild go on to receive follow-up services for 12 months to "ensure their success in employment, education or enlistment," according to the press release.

“YouthBuild students are full of potential. When given the opportunity combined with support from caring adults, they can go on to do great things,” said Rachel Harris, YouthBuild coordinator.

CDSA YouthBuild student Samantha Everly, in the CDSA press release, said the program had a tremendous impact.

“Being in YouthBuild has been a life-changing experience," she said. "I came to YouthBuild with no diploma or direction. Through YouthBuild, I have had an opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., earn my diploma, participate in a work experience and attain employment. I am so excited to graduate.”

CDSA is gathering students for its YouthBuild Cycle 11 class. Students must be out of school and ages 17-24. For information, call Harris at (580) 242-6131.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at
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