SCE Credit Union has long been a champion of equality, diversity and outreach. Along those lines, we’re pleased to share with you information on one of the nonprofits we work with and support.
Compton YouthBuild is an affiliate of YouthBuild U.S.A, sponsored and operated by EntreNous Youth Empowerment Services, Inc. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing educational and occupational opportunities to youth aged 16 through 24. The students who turn to Compton YouthBuild have often been in foster care, typically struggled with academics, and some have had close encounters with our justice system. All are deserving of an opportunity to create a sustainable future for themselves, their families and their communities.
The YouthBuild programs allow students who don’t have a high school diploma to earn one. They can also receive occupational training in Building/Construction and Culinary/Hospitality. Students can receive their OSHA construction safety certification or become a certified food handler in the culinary arts.
A Department of Labor YouthBuild grant makes paid training part of the program. The stipend students receive in the Building/Construction occupational track points to an example of how SCE Credit Union helps. Students need an accessible but safe place to put the money they earn. We provide free accounts and a debit card, so they can safely make withdrawals and deposit checks with a legitimate institution. Sara A. M. Silva, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of EntreNous Youth Empowerment Services, Inc. explains, “Society is driven by technology. If you don’t have an ATM card, it’s near impossible to function financially. The student accounts provided by SCE Credit Union don’t allow them to overdraw. So, they learn good habits without risking penalties.”
SCE FCU’s own nonprofit, the Center for Financial Empowerment, works to end the cycle of generational poverty through financial education. They’ve held Mad City Money Events at the Compton YouthBuild facility. These are hands-on simulations where volunteers play the roles of business people. Students are presented with real-world circumstances like balancing a budget or dealing with an unexpected expense. These events are a risk-free way to experience the reality of life as an adult.
In addition to Mad City Money, in each of the past three years, a Compton YouthBuild student has been the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship. Silva describes SCE Credit Union as, “an instrumental partner, and a great asset for our young people.”
Compton YouthBuild has had a significant impact in the community. In the past five years, more than 220 students have earned an accredited high school diploma. 85% are now working, in the military, in public service or in college. 79% have received the industry credentials we mentioned. The average income of graduates is $14.55 per hour, well above minimum wage.
Compton YouthBuild has done a great deal to engage, educate and elevate people in our Credit Union’s backyard. They are They’re an engine of empowerment that we’ are proud to partner with.