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The B.U.I.L.D. Program

The after school program that changed the lives of 30 youth - from at-risk to graduation, and university.

The Building Up Integral Life Decisions (B.U.I.L.D.) Program started in 2013 to support youth during their junior high years. Below is an article from the Chronic Herald highlighting the program and the program's success. To create a program like B.U.I.L.D. takes skills in building partnerships with supporting organizations, community engagement, and relationship management with both internal and external investors (those who invest their time and resources to support the program). Working with youth to help them with their struggles, to make the right choices, and have a successful future is one of my passions - a branch off my main passion for helping people.

Grade 7 to Grade 9 Fairview Junior High students work hard with Personal Trainer Dustin Boudreau in the after school B.U.I.L.D. program. The program is also taking place at Clayton Park Junior High and hopes to expand for 2014/15 year.

High-energy techno fills a room at Fairview Junior High, transforming the class every Thursday into a circuit-style gym with body bars, a punching bag and yoga mats. A student leader bellows a countdown to a room of about 12 sweaty teenagers. It could be boot camp, but there’s far too many smiles.

Welcome to BUILD, where a group of students, age 13 to 15, are “pushing harder today, for a better tomorrow.”

It’s easy for young adults to stumble onto the wrong track. Getting back onto the right one, can take a little more effort. Personal trainer and massage therapist, Dustin Boudreau knows this first hand and is drawing from his experience to help carve a brighter path, two days a week, at Fairview and Clayton Park Junior High schools.

“Growing up in Fort McMurray, I know what these kids are faced with ... it’s cool to party, there’s the influence of drugs. I wanted to take my experience and put them through exercises and use the program as a medium to teach self-respect, goal setting ... they’re learning that hard work pays off,” says Boudreau, program leader of BUILD.

Boudreau isn’t shy about telling the kids how he dropped out of school in Grade 11, after mixing with the wrong crowd and making poor choices. He says he’s worked hard to turn his life around and designed this new program to help others. 

BUILD is a free afterschool program, standing for Building Up Integral Life Decisions and was kick-started through a Halifax Regional School Board health promotion grant for $5,000. 

“I’m able to do fitness better ... I’ve pushed harder to do things I couldn’t do,” says 14-year-old Hannah Richard. She says the hardest thing about being 14 is trying to get good grades, “and sort of figuring out your life before Grade 9.”

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