David, YouthBuild Graduate Current Occupation: Structural Mechanic
David, a recent graduate of YouthBuild Long Island, knows the struggle of trying to escape a cycle of poor decisions. He remembers being unsure of his future, not sure where to turn and feeling deeply depressed with his purpose in life. He remembers thinking, “I need to get help, and if I don’t get help now, it’s going to be too late.”
Growing up with a single mother and two siblings, David recalls trying to take on adult responsibilities as a child in order to compensate for his absentee father. However, this led to poor academic success and behavior. David’s tipping point was during his incarceration as a teenager. During this time period, he contemplated how to alter his circumstances and vowed to change his life for the better going forward.
David discovered YouthBuild through members of his community who had gone through the program and had achieved success, including earning their high school equivalency diplomas. He began to ponder, “Why can’t I do that?” and immediately joined YouthBuild.
In under eight months David earned his TASC, or High School Equivalency Diploma, and passed his OSHA training, indicating completion of courses in workplace safety. David also continued to develop his character in YouthBuild, as well as life skills, such as money management and how to communicate with others in a professional environment. David now finds himself increasingly calm with his friends and family, especially in stressful situations – a skill he plans to take with him well into the future.
In addition, David learned how to set attainable goals for himself while in YouthBuild. His career goal is to become an electrician, allowing him to give back to the community he loves so much and truly impact the lives of others:
“Knowing that there's somebody that's going to live in this house, they're going to turn on the light, and they're going to know it's going to be safe.”
With the guidance of YouthBuild staff, David has interviewed with multiple electrical companies and is awaiting confirmation of a pending job offer. He describes, “The staff stretch out their necks for having these companies keep in touch with me. They’re the reason why I’ve had so many interviews and call-backs.”
“Because everything’s going for me right now, I feel like it’s perfect,” David describes with a smile on his face. He adds, “Never say you can’t do it, because even the word can't has ‘can’ in it. So, nothing is impossible.”
Editor's Update: David is currently employed by CPI Aero as a Structural Mechanic.