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John Valverde

CEO, YouthBuild USA


John Valverde is the CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc. He joined YouthBuild in 2017 after decades of work as an advocate for creating access to opportunity and removing barriers for formerly incarcerated and low-income people.

John began working with imprisoned individuals in 1992 to ensure access to HIV/AIDS counseling, high school equivalency instruction, alternatives to violence programs, and college education. In 1998, he co-founded Hudson Link for Higher Education, the first privately funded accredited college program in New York’s prisons..

As a young man who was incarcerated at 21, for almost 16 years, John is now recognized as a proven leader and example for people affected by the criminal justice system. John’s personal and professional life embodies the work of YouthBuild and is a powerful representation of its mission.

John is a graduate of Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy. He holds a Master of Professional Studies in Urban Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Mercy College.