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GAP Alumnus Receives National Award for Dedication to Service

A graduate of GAP School and YouthBuild St. Paul Westside, Boe Boe, has recently been recognized with the national 2023 YouthBuild AmeriCorps Spirit of Service Award.

Arriving in Minnesota at the age of 19 from a refugee camp in Thailand, Boe faced challenges that would deter most. However, his motivation caused him to pursue education at a local high school. Despite his desire to learn, he was forced to leave the school due to age limitations. This setback only made him more determined to succeed.

Enter GAP School, home to YouthBuild St. Paul Westside's construction program. Boe found his passion within the construction industry and embraced his education. Boe's journey wasn't solely about personal growth; it was about giving back and uplifting others.

His commitment to helping fellow YouthBuild students and the St. Paul community at large earned him the well-deserved YouthBuild USA Alumni of the Year award. This accolade was presented to him as part of the annual Spirit of Service Awards, an honor he received out of thousands of outstanding members nationwide.

At the center of Boe's service is his dedication to mentorship and volunteerism. Returning to the program over the years, he provided invaluable guidance to students and actively participated in construction projects. His contributions extended beyond the classroom, acting as an interpreter for students and families in need, showcasing his constant support for those around him.

From a determined student to a licensed realtor who's making a tangible impact on the lives of others, Boe has helped numerous students and fellow alumni achieve their dream of homeownership, solidifying his role as a community leader. Most recently, he represented the house built by YouthBuild St. Paul Westside participants.

"Boe has been a tremendously successful graduate and a great example for other students in our program," stated Tony Zahradka, Construction Career Pathway and YouthBuild St. Paul Westside program manager. Boe's story is a lesson of what can be achieved when education, mentorship, and dedication intersect. As he continues to represent the ideals of YouthBuild AmeriCorps, his legacy serves as a reminder that each of us has the potential to make a lasting impact.

Boe Boe (left) alongside Tony Zahradka, program  manager of YouthBuild St. Paul Westside
Boe Boe (left) alongside Tony Zahradka, program manager of YouthBuild St. Paul Westside


About YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild's mission is rooted in empowering young individuals to realize their potential and create positive change within their communities. With over 280 programs across the United States and worldwide, YouthBuild provides a platform for students to reclaim their education, develop essential job skills, and become leaders in their communities. Since its inception in 1994, YouthBuild USA has been an AmeriCorps grantee, facilitating meaningful service opportunities for thousands of young people.


​About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 250,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one- time volunteers.

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