YBN operates an effective educational program that prepares students to secure the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and advance to post-secondary education and/or advanced training. Our rigorous curriculum aligns with the Common Core State Standards Initiative and addresses Math, Science, Writing, Literature and the Arts and Social Studies learning.

As part of a daily schedule, students receive instruction in two (2) 3-hour blocks that rotate academic and vocational instruction. YBN also provides tutoring, FAFSA and SAT completion, and college tours.

We have a 1 to 15-teacher student ratio and state-certified teachers who are specialists in their subject areas.

For several years, YBN has also maintained an MOU with Essex County College through which students can earn up to nine college credits in Mathematics, Language Arts, and an elective, and receive academic support services (tutoring, career counseling, and access to ECC’s learning center). The MOU also provides for dual enrollment.

Workforce Preperation

Using affordable housing development as a vehicle, we help students increase their employability by learning about timeliness, accountability, teamwork, conflict resolution, and project completion. Students can earn portable credentials through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the Home Builders Institute’s Pre-Apprentice Certification Training (PACT). YBN is expanding its vocational offerings through a partnership with the New Community Corporation (NCC) to include culinary arts, automotive training, and nursing.

We also link students with opportunities to intern with our community partners, provide job readiness workshops, and invite professionals from diverse careers to speak with students. All YBN students are trained to produce high-quality resumes and develop a professional work ethic and appearance.

Socio-Emotional Support

Improving students’ self-efficacy and resiliency is key to ensuring they can successfully achieve the goals that they’ve established. Beyond the achievement of their GED and vocational credentials, we strive to help students develop the socio-emotional competences that will sustain and guide them throughout their lives.

Our dedicated case managers provide case management, individual and group counseling, and life skills training. Through our numerous partnerships with social service agencies, we connect students to additional supports (e.g. emergency housing, substance abuse assistance, etc.) depending upon their needs.

Community Service

YBN draws on community service as a mechanism for developing Greater Newark’s next generation of leaders. Working to align projects with students’ career interests and values, service projects are entirely student-driven. Ongoing affordable housing development is a key means by which students engage in community service and develop leadership skills. Students have also made repairs at battered women’s shelters, planted trees, volunteered at soup kitchens and provided painting and landscaping to local agencies like the Boys and Girls Club of Newark.

Among its many service-oriented partnerships, YBN has worked with the Greater Newark Conservancy to transform empty lots into “Living Classrooms” where students have hands-on opportunities to show mastery of Science content and provide residents with high-quality, locally-grown food. In 2013, YBN partnered with the Trust for Public Land for students to install 54 recycling bins in 3 of Newark’s parks. We continue to work with the Willing Heart Community Care Center and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to allow students, many of whom have experienced homelessness and hunger, to assist with food collection and distribution to families and individuals in need.

Since its inception, YBN has also served as an AmeriCorps program, offering students the opportunity to earn Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards that can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, to pay for educational training, and to repay qualified student loans.

Leadership Development

Cultivating leaders is a core aspect of our mission. We encourage both formal and informal displays of leadership.

After enrollment, all students create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) that guide their progress throughout the program. We expect students to have a stake in their own progress.

As part of our formal curriculum, students take part in classroom sessions that address public speaking, group facilitation, negotiation, and professionalism. All students are encouraged to become registered voters.

YBN’s Student Policy Council functions as another vehicle through which students can hone leadership competencies. Selected by their peers, the Council actively contributes to program development and student disciplinary actions by bringing ideas/concerns to staff.

YBN encourages students to participate in various national conferences hosted by YouthBuild USA (i.e. Conference of Young Leaders in Washington, D.C.) and similar events throughout New Jersey.

Students who demonstrate leadership have access to a number of financial and/or non-financial incentives as well as Leadership Development/Transformation Awards – which acknowledge students’ progress toward personal/community development.

Post-Program Support

To ensure students continue to build upon their goals, maintain an upward trajectory to success, YBN provides post-employment training, career counseling, job placement assistance, college counseling, follow-up counseling, and additional resources such as emergency housing assistance, tuition assistance, etc.


Learn more about YouthBuild Newark by visiting our FAQ page.


To apply, visit YBN’s program offices located at 571 Central Avenue on the 2nd floor in Newark, NJ between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm to complete a paper application. You can also download our application by clicking the link below.

After submitting an application and all necessary documentation, applicants participate in a group orientation that provides an overview of eligibility requirements, YBN’s program services, and expected results/outcomes. Applicants also participate in individual interviews to discuss their goals and expectations and take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to establish their baseline academic levels. YBN then invites applicants to participate in the Mental Toughness Orientation, which includes Math and English instruction, vocational training, team-building activities, case management, and community service.

YBN Student Application