On the job with YouthBuild

Eight young people from Warm Springs are working with Heart of Oregon YouthBuild.

They are building houses in Madras. Heart of Oregon has developed a great working relationship with the tribes. In time they are hoping to build new homes on the reservation. Meanwhile they are planning a clean-up project in Warm Springs in early September.

The homes they build in Madras are for Habitat for Humanity families. YouthBuild has completed 16 houses so far, with the goal of finishing 25 by the end of the year. Each house takes about nine months to complete.

YouthBuild is an ideal program for Warm Springs, said Heath of Oregon Corps advocate Amorita Anstett.

Home-building projects on the reservation, she said, could help in alleviating the housing needs. Building on the reservation could also bring more Warm Springs youth into the program.

Heart of Oregon has met with Tribal Council in the past, and their presentation was well-received.

YouthBuild, COYCC
Rodger Jack is a young man from Simnasho, and works with Heart of Oregon YouthBuild.

He has perfect attendance at the classes and at work. He does this, amazingly, while commuting two and a half hours each way. Rodger learned of the Heart of Oregon Corps through a principal at the Madras High School.

He’s now taking the Heart of Oregon classes on some days, while helping build a house on non-class days.

This week he was working on a house with Leionah Scott, Alyssa Culps and other co-workers. YouthBuild will host an open house for the newly-built home on Friday of this week. You can visit the house on Lincoln Court in Madras.

Heart of Oregon is a non-profit education and job skills training program. Their goal is to help young people and their communities.

Heart of Oregon has the YouthBuild program, teaching construction, electrical, plumbing and related skills. Other opportunities are the Heart of Oregon Thrift Store in Madras, AmeriCorps, the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, and Camp LEAD.

Butch David is leading the Youth Conservation Corps on the reservation. They are working on the reservation on natural resource projects.

Jobs, education solution
Joining Heart of Oregon, students can earn high school credits, a diploma, job training and contacts, college scholarships, and a stipend. It is a 12-month program for youth ages 16 to 24.

The students first attend a two-week orientation at the Sisters classroom center. The school district provides transportation.

After the two-week Mental Toughness session, the students will spend some days at the classroom, and some days working on community projects, such as building houses.

After the 12 months, the Heart of Oregon workers offer their support to the youth have completed the program.

Once a young person has committed to Heart of Oregon, “They are always a part of Hearth of Oregon,” Amorita said.

Heart of Oregon is a great solution for some high school students. Through Heart of Oregon a student can earn up to 15 credits in one year, about two and a half years worth of high school credits.

Rodger and Amorita gave a presentation on the program earlier this month to the Warm Springs Health and Human Services Branch.

You can learn more about the program at the website:

Or call their office at 541-526-1380.