Local Organization Builds Youths' Futures

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COLUMBIA - Job Point's Columbia Builds Youth program provides education and job preparation to low-income students.

According to Job Point, about 40 students have successfully completed this training program since May 2011. Six of these students received their GEDs, 15 entered construction employment, 10 entered other employment and four entered post-secondary training.

Graduate Drew Troth is a prime example of the opportunities students have after their time with CBY. He received his GED then moved to Chicago to build a life there.

"I own my own company and I go to UTI, which is the University Technical Institute," Troth said. He is only 19 years old.

However, Troth admitted the CBY program was challenging. "When you come in certain days, you go to class then other days you go to work, usually on construction type work. It's actually a really difficult schedule but you gotta push through it...so you can be more successful later on. But once you get in, you have a whole family to back you up," he said.

Troth is the owner of Green Cut Tree and Shrub Removal. He said his business is doing so well that he recently purchased his own home and land in Chicago.

Even with his success, he does not forget who helped him get there.

"It helped me out a lot. I go there whenever I can to see my old instructors and peers. It's good to see how everyone's changed and I appreciate what they did for me," Troth said.

For more information on Columbia Builds Youth and Job Point, visit their website.