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Dorothy Stoneman
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Dorothy Stoneman is founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc. the national support center for more than 273 YouthBuild programs in the U.S., and 56 in 12 other countries including Mexico, South Africa, and Israel.

In YouthBuild programs, low-income unemployed youth ages 16-24 that lack a high school diploma enroll full-time for 6-24 months. They work toward their GED or diploma while building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people. Caring adult staff emphasize personal responsibility, mutual support, and leadership development. Graduates go on to jobs in the construction industry or to college. Many earn AmeriCorps education awards for their service in the community. Since 1994, more than 110,000 YouthBuild students have produced 21,000 units of low-income housing in America’s poorest communities.

Stoneman has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Bank Street College of Education. She was awarded the international Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2007-2013, the John Gardner Leadership Award in 2000, and a MacArthur Fellowship in 1996. She has worked in the fields of youth and community development since 1964.

Entries by Dorothy Stoneman

Engaging Our Youth: Taking Climate Action to the Streets

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2016 | 10:38 AM

With scientists warning that time is short to curb greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to slow climate change, it's urgent that we engage our youth in creating a clean-energy future for themselves, their children and grandchildren. Most importantly, the next generation needs to participate in ensuring a clean energy future for...

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Redemption for "Thugs and Gang-Bangers"?

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 10:04 AM

Even while there is bi-partisan agreement that our nation has been guilty of over-incarceration of millions of people who have used marijuana or committed misdemeanors, we have heard many elected officials on both sides of the aisle dismiss "thugs and gangbangers," "drug dealers," and "violent criminals" as worthless. There seems...

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How Do We Fix America's Skills Gap? Use All Our Talent!

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 4:40 PM

It's no secret a skills mismatch is holding back American businesses and jobseekers. Millions in this country remain out of work or underemployed, yet more than five million jobs remain unfilled in the U.S. Some 45 percent of employers say a lack of skills is the leading reason...

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Celebrating a Fundamental Principle for Social Entrepreneurs at the East Harlem Block Schools 50th Anniversary: Accountability to the Community

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 10:44 PM

The idea that individuals create solutions to social problems, raise philanthropic dollars to replicate them, and then "take them to scale" with public funds, to solve the big problems across the land, is not really new. But the relatively new title of "social entrepreneur" has caught the imagination of foundations...

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Don't Call Them Dropouts: Call Them Leaders-in-Waiting

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 6:27 PM

"How many of you came here primarily to get a GED?" Many hands go up. "How many came primarily to get a job?" Many more hands go up. "How many of you, if you thought you were joining a great movement to end poverty and injustice and fix the conditions...

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The Immeasurable Power of Love in Overcoming Poverty and Oppression: The Story of Mr. Orange and Leroy Looper

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 12:50 PM

Mr. Orange doesn't know that his caring attention to an incarcerated ten year old 75 years ago had a ripple effect benefiting tens of thousands of people. He will never know. He passed away a long time ago, and so did the 10-year-old, at age 86 in 2011. Mr. Orange...

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Some Realities Behind the Trayvon Martin Tragedy That We Must Not Forget

(9) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 11:38 AM

I grew up on the same tree-lined street in Belmont, Massachusetts where Mitt Romney lived when he was governor. No people of color lived in Belmont when I was a child. I went to Harvard University when virtually no African Americans were there. I graduated in 1963, joined the Civil...

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If We Don't Address Poverty, We Won't Reduce Gun Violence

(22) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 3:04 PM

The debate over addressing gun violence in the aftermath of Newtown fell into a pattern: "The good law-abiding citizens should have the right to own guns, although not assault rifles with magazines that shoot 70 bullets in a minute; the mentally ill people who might commit unexpected massacres should get...

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Balancing the Call for Collective Impact With the Call to Invest in Scaling What Works

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Over the past decade there has been a call for individual "social entrepreneurs" to create innovative programs that effectively address social problems in one community, and then "take them to scale," replicating the approach in many communities for maximum impact. Foundations endorsed this approach, and the Obama administration also supported...

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Solutions Are Obvious for a National Emergency

(3) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 7:21 PM

Every year 1.2 million American teenagers leave high school without a diploma. One-third of all students nationwide, and in low income communities half the students, do not graduate. Some leave to make money to support their family, but most will say they left because nobody in the school actually cared...

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