YouthBuild Charter School offers high school diploma program

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An innovative high school in Fresno is giving students a new way to obtain a diploma and learn a trade at the same time.

Mia Robles says she wasn't sure she was going to finish high school.

"I dropped out of the school I was in," she explained, "and I was out of school for a few months."

That's when she learned about Fresno EOC's YouthBuild Charter School.

"Everywhere else I tried to go, they were just saying I could only get my GED, and I already knew a high school diploma was important so I wanted to come here," Robles added.

She set her sights on a fresh start.

"It actually opened a lot of opportunities for me, which was good because I was in a really rough patch before I got here," added Robles.

"What the draw is for us is not only do we have the education component, but we also have the work component," explained program director Shawn Riggins. "Young people can come here to get a high school diploma and they can also work."

The high school allows anyone from 18-29 years old to obtain their diploma, and under the same roof, anyone 18-25 can learn a new skill, with vocation training in construction, wiring, and electrical, among others.

"If you don't have your high school diploma, you're getting pushed down further on that list of trying to get a job," added Riggins. "And for us, the high school diploma is just the first step."

As for Mia, she's now a proud graduate of the high school and is learning a new trade in public lands. She's already making plans for her future and taking college course work in the pursuit of a career in criminology.

"If I hadn't heard about this, I probably wouldn't have gone to school," she said. "I would have found some weird job somewhere."

They're currently accepting students. For more details on the program click here.
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