"Before I found YBA, I had given up on my goals." - Grace Van Etten
Grace Van Etten is a graduate of LearningWorks' Youth Building Alternatives (YBA) program, which provides alternative education, HiSET preparation, and job, life, and leadership skills for unemployed youth who have dropped out of high school.
When Grace started YBA, she didn't think college was an option for her. She struggled with anxiety, and wasn't hopeful about her future. But her time at Learning Works impacted her life more than she expected. She says, "Everything that I went through with my classmates and the staff strengthened me to become a person I am proud to be."
For Grace, the best part of YBA was the staff. "There is an incredible sense of support and care that they have for each student. Once they help you find your dream, they will stop at nothing to help you reach your goals. I owe them so much, I can never thank them enough for the transformation they helped me through."
We are proud to report that Grace is currently enrolled at SMCC majoring in Early Childhood Education. When asked about her experience as a college student, Grace said, "I am back on track with my education and work hard to do my best every day. I have already had so many amazing learning experiences, and my passion for guiding young children grows every day."
Her next goal? A Bachelor's degree and her very own classroom to run.
We were honored to work with Grace and nurture her talent and her dreams through our innovative programming. YBA serves 70 students like Grace each year - stay tuned to our 50 Stories Project to hear more stories about our current and former YBA students.
Courtesy - Sofia Aldinio Photo & Video