Homeboy Industries founder Fr. Gregory Boyle served as keynote speaker for the 2013-14 graduating class of Venice YouthBuild on June 27.

The YouthBuild program is an education and training program that helps at-risk young adults attain life and job skills, including diplomas, through classroom instruction, construction training and community service projects.

Boyle, a Jesuit priest, started the Homeboy jobs program in 1992 to help youth break free of gang life and grew it into the country’s largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program.

“YouthBuild is not the place you come to, it’s the place you go from,” Boyle told the 26 YouthBuild graduates. “You’ve committed not just to building houses, you’ve committed to building communities.”

— Gary Walker