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Sharell's Story


I was a young mother of two, supporting both children and doing well, when my finances took a negative turn. While pregnant with my third child, I unexpectedly lost my good-paying, full-time job. To return to self-sufficiency and take care of my family, I applied for subsidized housing in Elkins, West Virginia—and found my way to YouthBuild North Central West Virginia. From the day I stepped foot into YouthBuild North Central, my life has never been the same. It is like I jumped onto a moving train to success. In my third month at YouthBuild, my program manager, Michelle, encouraged and supported me in attending and representing our YouthBuild program at the 2015 Conference of Young Leaders (CoYL). She made me feel invincible and powerful. I knew it was my time to step up. I was born a leader, I just never felt it or recognized it until I came across the YouthBuild movement. Since my time as a YouthBuild student, I gained many certifications, volunteered in my community, and served for change. After graduating, I completed the maximum four-year term with National and State AmeriCorps and served on Youth Build USA's Young Leaders Council, Policy Council and Membership Committee. Currently, I am the Program Assistant at Youth Build NCWV and the first graduate to ever be staff at her program. Outside of being a staff member, I continue to stay involved with my program as an alumna and mentor. Service and giving back is now my life. It is what I absolutely love to do.