American YouthWorks (AYW) has been transforming the lives of at-risk Austin youth for 30 years.
Our holistic approach to education and community service has enabled thousands of would-be dropouts to:
* Complete High School,
* Find employment that supports them and their family,
* Build life skills that last a lifetime, and
* Gain the self-respect that comes with self-sufficiency and giving back to the community.
At the core of all we do is Service-Learning, which links classroom education with service projects that address real community needs.
All we ask of our participants is that they be willing to help themselves.
AYW is an innovative nonprofit run with free-market efficiency (over 89% of the funds we raise are spent on direct services). We leverage private contributions and public support from organizations like AmeriCorps to help at-risk youth help themselves and their communities.
Casa Verde Builders (CVB) is an award-winning, project-based education program, at American YouthWorks (AYW), providing participants with hands-on construction skills and applied academics by building single-family, energy-efficient, affordable housing in East Austin communities. CVB members work to improve their own neighborhoods while pursuing their high school diploma or GED.
Due to their dedication and hard work, the young people of Casa Verde have received many awards including the Points of Light Foundation Presidential Service Award, Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet) Effective Initiative Award, Texas Society of Architects Citation of Honor, and US Dept. of Commerce HUD Best Practices Award.
As part of the AmeriCorps National Volunteer Service Program, CVB members earn a living allowance and are provided health care. Those who successfully complete their 12-month service will also earn a $4,725 award for higher education or trade school.
Young people, ages 16 to 21, who are Texas residents, and need a high school diploma.