On June 23rd, we celebrate the 20th Isles Youth Institute graduation! I fondly remember the decision, just over 21 years ago, to create Isles’ YouthBuild, where disconnected 16-24 year olds can grow, learn construction skills, earn a high school degree and renovate homes in the city.
Over 1,000 students have benefited from IYI. From the beginning, we believed that the secret to success would be the students themselves, who would take ownership over their own future, and responsibility for their own choices. As a result, we constantly quote an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.”
IYI is a place that challenges, supports, and involves young people and their families. We offer wise, effective teachers for that moment when students choose to learn.
The lessons of IYI, in the classroom, at job sites, or on the many field trips they take, are designed to last. Students learn that they are part of a caring group of thoughtful people that is bigger than any of us.
As our graduates step into the world, future students will take their place. When these students are ready, this year’s graduates will be the teachers who arrive.