One of the core tenants of Job Point’s YouthBuild program is to help students learn how to not just seek the betterment of their own lives, but to be leaders in their community that strive to help others, too.
Over the past few months, these students have been doing exactly that with work projects that have not only taught them how to use power tools or frame a wall, but how their actions can directly impact and improve the lives of others.
On Friday, March 26 at 10:00 am, Job Point’s YouthBuild students celebrated the completion of one of those projects with a ribbon cutting and brief program.
“[Turning Point] approached me in January about an issue they were having with theft and a need to change the layout of their facility to include a computer lab,” Jerrell Morton, Director of the YouthBuild at Job Point, said.
They began work at the end of January on the requested renovations at Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church in support of the Turning Point Day Center.
The students built a wall to create a secured storage room. They then built desks that would be used to create a computer lab.
Through this seemingly simple project, they built something truly powerful.
The intended impact was to show that all life has value, regardless of one’s temporary situation. Additionally, if we all show-up and invest sweat-equity in helping others, in return you will walk away a stronger/wiser version of yourself,” Morton said.
Turning Point’s “mission is to promote or restore dignity and hope among Columbians who are facing the possibility of a housing crisis or who are currently experiencing homelessness.”
By partnering with Job Point’s YouthBuild program, the staff at Turning Point were able to repurpose their space and increase access to resources, employment opportunities, and COVID-modified appointments for the wide range of people they serve.
For the current cohort of YouthBuild students, this was their first official project. They were excited to move beyond the book-work and tests to try out their newfound skills.
“For most YouthBuild students, the first time they touch construction related tools tends to be during the safety orientation in our construction class,” Morton said.
When they first picked up the tools on the jobsite, many of the students were a little unsure of themselves and hesitant to get started. But, by the completion of the project, they felt comfortable and confident.
“I just built that,” Princess Boway said as she stood up from building the first desk for the computer lab.
Prior to that morning, she had only ever seen power tools in class. This was her first opportunity to put that knowledge into action. She was a little shaky at first, but after a few attempts, she had confidently mastered the impact driver.
At 11:00 am, the students continued to learn the importance of community and the joy of service to others by serving lunch to their neighbors currently experiencing homelessness. They prepared a meal of brats, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and baked beans and worked together to serve the meal.
About Job Point
Job Point’s YouthBuild program provides a safe place for Columbia’s youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood, and leadership. This program primarily serves young people, ages 16-24, who lack a high school diploma and financial resources. These young people are in greatest need of our support, and they are our greatest source of untapped potential. We help these young people work together to reclaim their education, gain job skills, and become leaders in our communities.
About Turning Point
Turning Point, a United Methodist ministry, welcomes the help of those in our community no matter their religious or non-religious affiliation. Our mission is to promote and restore dignity and hope among Columbians who are facing the possibility of housing crisis or who are currently experiencing homelessness.