SER Metro-Detroit
Service. Employment. Redevelopment.          

SER YouthBuild Learning Academy Recognizes 22 Graduates

DETROIT, MI –The SER YouthBuild Learning Academy (SYLA) will host its annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Family, friends, and agency partners will gather at the SER Workforce Center for the ceremony. The graduation will recognize opportunity youth graduates who demonstrate the significant impact SER has on the young people of the city of Detroit.   

Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President & CEO of SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. and Ann Leen, Assistant Vice President of Youth Services will be welcoming the graduates and presenting them with their diplomas. “This is the kind of programming that changes lives. Our graduates came to us with significant barriers in literacy, housing, and employment capability. They will leave here with the tools necessary to be successful. They are the future of Detroit.” stated Eva Garza Dewaelsche regarding the graduating class.

The SER YouthBuild Learning Academy (SYLA) is a comprehensive model that supports opportunity youth of Detroit, ages 16-24, in changing their lives. The program offers high school degree completion, GED attainment and certification in industry demand occupations. The SYLA program is a best practice model for the hardest to serve and offers programming that addresses a young person’s needs in an immediate way. The graduating class joined SYLA with an average literacy rate of 4th grade. They have now completed high school and will move on to college, the trades or long-term employment. For many, they will be the first in their family to graduate from high school.

Key highlights: Eleven students will receive their high school diplomas and twelve YouthBuilders will receive their GED. Following graduation, the students will move on to pursue employment opportunities or secondary education. Eight graduates are attending Wayne County Community College District, Oakland County Community College, or Henry Ford College. Two graduates will be attending cosmetology school; one will be studying fashion design. Two graduates are attending CNA training. One graduate will be a journeyman with Laborers Local Union 1191; four are gainfully employed with Bread Basket Deli, Great Lakes Recycling, and Waltonwood Senior Living. Two graduates will be joining the Armed Forces following training this summer. Three graduates are mapping out their next steps.

Special Guests: U of M Office of Metropolitan Impact, The McGregor Fund, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, The Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, Huntington Bank, The Skillman Foundation, Jason Paulateer of Fifth-Third Bank, and SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. Board Members.


About SER Metro-Detroit
SER Metro Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. (SER) is a community-based organization that believes in the potential of every individual. For the past 47 years, SER has assisted thousands of at-risk and disadvantaged residents from across the City of Detroit and the region in becoming self-sufficient through quality employment, education and training programs. For more information visit