Today our Case Manager, Lisa, and I attended a community agency visit to the FAB Shop Program. This is a job readiness program for youth with barriers that specifically focuses on carpentry. It is a 26 week long program, throughout which the youth engage in class work, production, and life skills such as budgeting and conflict resolution on the job site. This visit was especially meaningful, as one of our youth is currently enrolled in the program.
Tim has been staying in our Crisis Shelter for quite some time now, and has had a long struggle with addiction and mental health. He also has a heart condition that limits the type of work he is able to obtain. As you might imagine, this youth has had quite a struggle finding employment. Tim has come a very long way and has worked very hard since he first came to us several years ago, and is now several months clean. This is a huge accomplishment, and it has enabled him to enjoy a measure of stability. The next piece of maintaining that stability has been finding steady employment.
Tim was getting very dejected, as his job search was not providing the result he was hoping for. Then along came an application for the FAB program! Not only did it speak to Tim’s level of readiness, it was exactly the direction that Tim wanted his career to go – carpentry. Part of the application process was an interview, and I spent more than one appointment with Tim going over and over potential interview questions and attempting to abate his anxiety. Finally the day came and Tim was accepted! He goes to “work” every day now and is extremely motivated. He also reports to me that his stress levels have gone way down.
During our visit, Tim’s instructor explained to us that Tim is a true mentor in his class, as he helps out the other students when they are falling behind. As I left the classroom, I felt very proud of Tim and very optimistic about his future. Tim was feeling very proud too…his grin was from ear to ear.