My name is Shaquia Bizzle and I am 22 years old. I am a current student at YouthBuild Boston in the 12-week Accelerated Training Program. I first came to YouthBuild Boston in the fall of 2013, but I dropped the program because of issues that I had within myself. I reapplied this past January because I felt like I was missing out on a good opportunity that could benefit me in the future. I thought it could help me stay off the streets and allow me to use my time doing something productive rather than doing nothing all day with my friends. In the past, I didn’t always make the best decisions in my life, but now I am at a place in my life where I want to better myself. Participating in this program helped me to occupy my time by taking part in something I enjoy, such as working with my hands.
YouthBuild Boston is a great way to help young people like myself start a career, rather than just getting a job. The staff and instructors make you think about the bigger picture on how good you could be living when you’re 50 or 60 years old; comfortably and not having to worry about how you’re going to support your family or struggling with bills. The staff at YBB is incredible. They understand your personal situations and will try their best to help you get everything you need from applying to jobs, completing applications, or assisting with getting your license. My instructor, Tim Tudor, is the best because he tells you the flat out truth. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything and will tell you how it is and how it’s going to be even if you don’t like it or don’t want to hear it. Everything that he has learned while being a carpenter, he teaches to us even if it’s the old school way.
Through the program this far, we've learned things like putting up staging, how to frame, the fundamentals of math, and how to read blueprints. We also are certified in LEED, RRP, OSHA 30 and First Aid/CPR. What I expected to get out of this program was to gain the most knowledge, experience, and hands-on training to help me get into a trade that I really want to pursue as a career. There were many trades that we visited throughout Massachusetts, but the two trades that caught my attention were the Carpenters' Union and the Laborers’ Union. On these sites we were able to network with different people from different unions including general contractors. I’m going to get so much more out of this program than I initially thought; the opportunity to become a leader within my own self and among my peers, the ability to look ahead, and the determination to make a better future for myself. I hope many young people after me will also get the opportunity to gain the same knowledge, skills and support that I have been fortunate enough to receive through my participation in YouthBuild Boston.
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