MANCHESTER, N.H. – One organization with 280 chapters across the United States has helped over 200,000 young people discover their potential and become community leaders, but none of chapters exist in New Hampshire yet, something Manchester Office of Youth Services Director Michael Quigley wants to change.
On Tuesday night, Quigley led a presentation at the Officer Michael Briggs Community Center to discuss the Youthbuild movement with assembled community leaders.
Prior to coming to Manchester, Quigley led a chapter of the organization in Massachusetts, which helps 16-to-24-year-olds who have either dropped out of school or needs additional life skills to secure their career track.
“I really think we were able to educate the community on this great program as an option for youth in Manchester,” said Quigley. “I hope we can find someone that will apply for U.S. Department of Labor Funding this November to bring Youthbuild to Manchester.”
Makin’ It Happen Executive Director Mary Forsythe Tabor believes that it’s a very good opportunity for Mancheste as long as it is implemented in a way that does not disrupt current programs and organizations that are helping the youth of the city obtain job skills.
“I think (Manchester youth) needs groups like this to provide a safe zone. What I like about (Youthbuild) is that it brings up alumni,” she said. “This is a new family, a new extension. I think that’s good and it would mean a lot to the kids in the city.”
Manchester Board of Aldermen Vice Chair and Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long believes the group could provide a similar role to My Turn, only with mentorship and resources from a regional and national support network.
“We obviously need more programs like this in respect to Manchester youth, the more the better, there are many kids in Manchester who feel like they are stuck in limbo,” said Long. “This might be a direction we can point them in. I’m all for any initiative that helps 16-to-24-year-olds and points them in the right direction.”
More information about Youthbuild can be found on its website.