A local philanthropist had an idea and as a result, eight young men are now dressed to enter the workforce. Drew Weber is the owner of the Lowell Spinners, a minor league team of the Boston Red Sox.
Mr. Weber recently took the young men on a shopping spree to purchase suits, shirts and ties. The well-dressed young men are part of the YouthBuild Lowell program which is operated by Community Teamwork Inc.
Mr. Weber was having lunch with staff members from the program and they spoke about a young man in the program who enjoyed wearing a suit. "He was wearing it every day and they said, ' you can't just keep wearing it every day,' " Weber said. "And he said, ' Well, people are looking at me differently. I really feel good about myself.' And all of a sudden the light bulb went off in my head." To YouthBuild participants, the suits open a door to a professional world. "I was grateful because he did that from his heart," said 17-year-old Abdel Santos. Emanuel Santana, 20, picked out a gray suit with a purple shirt and tie. "He wanted us to look nice when we go to job interviews," Santana said.
The young men started out with some pretty crazy colors, Weber said, but he ruled out a few items that were "a little bit over the top."
Weber is particularly well suited to give clothing expertise -- before buying the Lowell Spinners, he ran a clothing store in New York City.
But for him, baseball has also opened a new door.
"I always said one of the most fun things about doing what I do is being able to do things like this," he said. "Before I got into baseball, I didn't do things like this. And now I do, and it's a lot more fun doing it than not doing it."
This experience had a profound impact on the young men involved. They met someone was interested in their success and willing to take some time and effort make their lives better. Community support is an essential part of every YouthBuild program. Drew Weber is living proof of that!
Thanks to the Lowell Sun for parts of this story-