Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Meet with YouthBuild Students From Rural America


Dan Dudley, 21 years old, Red Lake YouthBuild, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minn.

Ten YouthBuild students to share experiences and have in-depth conversation with Secretary and senior department officials

WHAT: Ten YouthBuild students from across the country, including Dan Dudley from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, will meet with U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan for an in-depth conversation on education and opportunities for disconnected youth in rural America.

WHEN: Thursday, August 18

WHERE: U.S Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

VISUALS: Photographs of the meeting participants with Secretary Duncan will be available after the meeting. Please contact Stacey Mink for a photograph of the meeting.

Washington, D.C. – Dan Dudley from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Thursday, August 18, along with nine other students from rural YouthBuild programs from around the country. This event marks Secretary Duncan’s first meeting with rural disconnected youth as part of his monthly “Student Voices” conversations. The YouthBuild students, all program graduates, will discuss the issues facing them, including having access to education and job training opportunities in areas with few services.

YouthBuild works with low-income youth ages 16-24 to assist them in earning their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and poor people. Nationally, about 90 percent of YouthBuild students have dropped out of high school, and over 30 percent have been through the court system. Emphasizing leadership development and community service, YouthBuild creates a positive peer group while developing new young leaders who have transcended poverty in America's poorest communities. Nationally, YouthBuild has engaged 100,000 students and built 20,000 housing units for low-income families since 1994.

Half of the programs represented have recently lost their main source of funding through the U.S. Department of Labor and are struggling to continue serving disconnected students.

Meeting participants

1. Alisha Young, 26 years old, Southern Appalachia School YouthBuild, Kincaid, W. Va.

2. Haden Raese, 18 years old, North Central WV YouthBuild, Elkins, W. Va.

3. Adam Strong, 20 years old, YouthBuild Hazard, Hazard, Ky.

4. Blake Fultz, 22 years old, Morehead YouthBuild, Morehead, Ky.

5. Kera Spriggs,19 years old, YouthBuild of Southeastern Ohio, McArthur, Ohio

6. Otis Collins, 25 years old, YouthBuild Lancaster, Lancaster, S.C.

7. LiShondra Manning, 19 years old, YouthBuild Bogalusa, Bogalusa, La.

8. Dan Dudley, 21 years old, Red Lake YouthBuild, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minn.

9. Reva Little Moon, 23 years old, Chadron YouthBuild (Chadron, NE), Pine Ridge, S.D.

10. Violet Jemez, 25 years old, YouthBuild Guadalupe, Guadalupe, Ariz.

About YouthBuild:

In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work full-time for 6-24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable, increasingly green housing in their communities. 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. Students may earn AmeriCorps education awards through their homebuilding and other community service. At exit, they are placed in college, jobs, or both.

YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources, with the primary federal funds administered by the US Department of Labor. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 units of affordable, increasing green, housing.

About YouthBuild USA:

YouthBuild USA orchestrates advocacy for public funding, guidance and quality assurance in program implementation, leadership opportunities for youth and staff, research to understand best practices, and targeted grants to YouthBuild USA affiliates. YouthBuild USA received the international Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship and has been named as one of America’s 12 best non-profits in the book “Forces for Good.” To learn more, visit


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