Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA Partner to Provide High School Diploma Program for Opportunity Youth

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Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA Partner to Provide High School Diploma Program for Opportunity Youth

Partnership Will Give YouthBuild Participants Access to Penn Foster's Accredited High School Diploma Program and Relevant Career Skills Training

Scranton, Pennsylvania (September 9, 2014) — Penn Foster, a leader in career-focused online and blended education and YouthBuild USA, a non-profit organization focused on providing low income young people with the skills and education for career and college readiness, have partnered to provide YouthBuild students with Penn Foster’s accredited high school diploma program and relevant skills training for their future careers.

“High school graduation and college and career readiness are key components of our program, and this partnership with Penn Foster will further help our students achieve success,” said Scott Emerick, Vice President of Education at YouthBuild USA. “We are already seeing positive results and completion rates with the Penn Foster program and are thrilled to provide our students with another option to earn their high school credential.”

As one of the largest licensed private high schools in the country with over 45,000 students, Penn Foster’s online- and blended-learning solutions are tailored to the needs of opportunity youth, such as the students participating in YouthBuild programs.  A new pilot initiative with four YouthBuild programs has resulted in completion rates greater than 80 percent, consistent with results of other Penn Foster partners that use the blended-learning model. This partnership program with YouthBuild USA will allow young people the opportunity to earn an accredited diploma with Penn Foster and continue their education, develop their career pathways, enter the workforce, or consider a combination of work and learning.

“As partners of  America’s Promise Alliance committed to addressing challenges facing opportunity youth, this is an extraordinary opportunity for Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA to work together to help raise the high school graduation rate in the U.S. and better prepare young people for career and college success,” said Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster.

YouthBuild programs offer low-income people ages 16 – 24 the opportunity to work full-time for six- to 24- months toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities.  In YouthBuild programs, emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to each other’s success. Upon exiting the program, participants are placed in college, jobs, or both.

“The Penn Foster program made me feel confident in my ability to attain my high school diploma.  The support in the classroom at YouthBuild and the fact that I could go at my own pace allowed me to succeed in one subject before moving on to the next,” said Eric Daniels, YouthBuild and Penn Foster high school graduate. “I feel like I have developed learning strategies that will allow me to succeed in college and whatever career I choose.”

Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA are both partners in America’s Promise Alliance, which works to improve outcomes for young people. The new high school diploma program will support the work of America’s Promise Alliance’s GradNation campaign, a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to increase high school graduation rates across the country.

“By forming this partnership, Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA are demonstrating the collaborative spirit that we encourage between partners of our alliance,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America's Promise Alliance. “We are dedicated to fostering the success of children and youth, and we are pleased to see our partners coming together to further our commitment to creating stronger communities where youth feel supported and encouraged to succeed.”

About Penn Foster

Founded in 1890, Penn Foster has been a leader in career-focused distance and blended learning for more than 100 years. Since its inception, more than 13 million people have enrolled in its high school, career school and college to learn advanced skills, further their education and better position them for life success. Today, Penn Foster graduates 25,000 students yearly and enrolls more than 100,000 new students each year in programs designed to address the skills gap in middle skilled careers. Penn Foster's high-quality, affordable distance education allows students the flexibility to complete programs around their schedules with 24/7 access to a supportive online community of students and faculty. For more information, visit www. pennfoster.edu.

About YouthBuild and YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild USA works to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives. YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources. . There are now 264 YouthBuild programs in 46 states, Washington, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, 130,000 YouthBuild students have built 22,000 units of affordable, increasingly green housing. Primary funding for local YouthBuild programs comes from the U.S. Department of Labor under the federal YouthBuild program. To learn more visit www.youthbuild.org.


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