Building team spirit: Western Sierra YouthBuild hosts school competition |

Building team spirit: Western Sierra YouthBuild hosts school competition

Western Sierra YouthBuild student Sabrina Magliocca studies a giant Jenga tower before attempting to remove one piece during a competition against other YouthBuild programs Friday.
Liz Kellar/ |

On Friday, Western Sierra YouthBuild hosted a school competition with YouthBuilds from Sacramento and Yuba-Sutter.

The students came together for a large “field day” to get to know others in the same situations that they are: economically challenged, many homeless, facing complex personal challenges and crises in their lives, and all still in need of a high school diploma.

The event also gave the students the opportunity to get a larger “view” of what it means to be a young person in these times and enrolled in a YouthBuild — and to build self and school pride, said Western Sierra YouthBuild Director Anita Bagwell.

Last but not least, Bagwell said, students got to have some fun together with good old-fashioned events in which they competed among “mixed schools” teams and then for a final and ultimate competition: school against school.

Twin Cities fed all the team members a hamburger and hot dog barbecue.

The YouthBuild model is a national model of intervention for disadvantaged youth, Bagwell said. Fifty percent of the students’ time is spent in an academic program, 40 percent is spent in vocational training (for all of the YouthBuilds coming, it is around the construction/trades industry), and 10 percent is spent in leadership development and community service.

The common denominator for all the students is that they are between 18-25 years old and they still need a high school diploma.

The YouthBuild schools gathered Friday at the Western Sierra YouthBuild school site, 12338 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley. The “field day” competition originally had “construction site competitions” for play —such as hammering nails quickly, wall framing competitions, wheelbarrow competitions, etc. But due to the downpour, staff adapted some of the games to more strategy and interactive games that can be played indoors, Bagwell said.

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