YouthBuild’s North Star

This section contains downloadable pdf versions of each chapter from John’s book, YouthBuild’s North Star. John was a founding staff member of YouthBuild (, which is part of a broad movement aimed at eliminating poverty and creating a “beloved community,” to use Martin Luther King Jr’s image, in which all humans have opportunity to flourish. One of YouthBuild’s main contributions to the effort is the development of young leaders who are skilled and inspired to work to realize this vision. This book is a blueprint for a comprehensive leadership development program. The book was written originally for students, staff, and directors of YouthBuild programs. However, teachers, counselors, youth organizers and others who work with young people may find it useful. (Two notes: 1. Some of the hyperlinks in the dowloadable chapters no longer work. You can find some of the articles in the “Articles” section of this website. 2. The paperback version is available on Amazon, ​ 


  1. The Door
  2. YouthBuild’s North Star: What and Why
  3. Current Mission and Future Vision of YouthBuild
  4. Core Values and Program Culture
  5. Building a Strong and Cohesive Staff
  6. Leadership Development
  7. Education
  8. Counseling and Healing
  9. Construction’s Role in Leadership Development
  10. Graduate Resources
  11. YouthBuild’s Graduate Leaders Network
  12. YouthBuild’s North Star: Answering a Call