Expanded Classroom for Sioux City YouthBuild

Sometimes teenagers need a little push in the right direction to get their lives on track and for some, traditional school just doesn't work.

That's where a special Goodwill Program comes in; the YouthBuild Program in Sioux City is helping teenagers by teaching them construction and helping them graduate at the same time.

There was reason to celebrate Thursday at Goodwill's Wall Street Mission, with the YouthBuild program dedicating a new and expanded classroom.

"Everything here helps me be a better person," says Clinton Gant, a student in the YouthBuild program. "The support from the friends and the staff here is phenomenal, I couldn't ask for anything more out of this program."

Since starting locally in 2007 YouthBuild has been helping at-risk teens succeed.

"They all come with that chip on their shoulder, you know, and you can't, I'm not going to do this, I'm not going to do that, and by the time they finish the program they actually act as a family," says Greg Collett, a YouthBuild Construction Instructor.

Students learn construction skills like roofing and how to install windows, while working toward graduation.

In fact, some students say one of the best parts of the YouthBuild program is the ability to get outside and do things hands on, like put siding on a house or even build a deck.

"If I have a house and something happens, I know how to fix it now," says Gant.

Parts of that know-how come from experience, the students are learning life lessons while building homes from the ground up.

"Once they're in here they really do learn life skills and learn to succeed," says Collett.

The program is turning young lives around and helping future generations succeed.

"I was going down a bad road before this and this program just got me off the street, it got me doing what I need to do, and it got my goals straight," says Gant.

The class expects to finish up that house sometime in the next couple of weeks.

The YouthBuild program is federally funded, and it's seen a few cuts over the last few years.

The national budget was cut from $128 million to around $80 million, and more cuts could be on the way.

The bottom line: YouthBuild Sioux City's always looking for volunteers and people to help out, if you'd like to volunteer you can contact YouthBuild here: