Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor


Second Advisor

John Ungerleider


YouthBuild USA is the national resource developer and movement leader for the field of over 260 local YouthBuild programs. Over the course of their time in the program, opportunity youth between the ages of 16-24 earn their GED or high school diploma—as well as industry-recognized credentials—while working on construction projects.

YouthBuild programs engage opportunity youth, including many who are street-involved or lack a stable home life. LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in these populations, yet YouthBuild USA has refrained from developing resources or guidance to support them. The resulting gap in resource development may narrow the ability of the field to fully-engage LGBTQ students. This paper seeks to explore what this intentional engagement would look like within the YouthBuild program model, and how technical assistance would be tailored to impact the field. The resulting BuildOut LGBTQ toolkit provides strategies which program sites can employ to enhance their organizational and program cultures with regard to LGBTQ acceptance.

Keywords: YouthBuild, youth, education, queer, LGBTQ, engagement, BuildOut, toolkit


Civic and Community Engagement | Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Service Learning