Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Building a New Life.(Metro & New Mexico)

Byline: Andrew Webb Journal Staff Writer

YouthBuild teaches dropouts construction while helping them earn their diploma

Four years ago, Richard Young was kicked out of Albuquerque High School for fighting. Gang activity followed him wherever he went, even when he switched schools, he said.

"Teachers already had me categorized before I even got started," Young said. "They looked down at my tattoos, my haircut, my clothes I felt like I had to prove them right."

But now, Young has big plans. He has spent the past two months in a unique organization that combines construction experience with classroom study leading to a high school equivalency diploma. …

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