Meet Malcolm. Like many of the youth who enter the TBB programs, many adults in his life treat him as a bad kid with problems. To be honest, he is facing many challenges. Malcolm became involved with the juvenile courts for falling asleep in class and other minor things. Most of the time he tries to avoid attention from adults who tell him all the things he’s doing wrong.
At 14 years old, he has a lot of responsibility looking after his younger siblings, because his mom works nights. Most people don’t know about that.
Malcolm’s first day at the boat shop was a little weird for him. Adults asked him what he wanted to achieve and genuinely listened to what he had to say. After 10 weeks, he’d learned to use many tools and felt at home in the shop. He loved carving most of all. He made a mask for himself, and a heart shaped box for his mom, then he carved a spoon to eat his morning cereal with. His next goal was to carve a bowl to go with the spoon.
When his mom was laid off, Malcolm got a job flipping burgers. His work hours made it hard to come to the shop, but he wanted to finish his bowl and to complete his diversion program. He and his mentor started meeting before work. When he finished the bowl, he asked us to take a picture of him. He was beaming.
Before he left, he said something important: “I’m glad I got to come here, even though it was because I was in trouble. You guys let me find out how creative I am. I didn’t know I could do that!” Then he thanked his mentor and left for work.