Every Thursday, I have the opportunity to work with students on Southern Pine’s site. Sometimes it’s for one hour sometimes two, but no matter what I always laugh. We helped out good ole Wooden Sheep and denailed some Jotoba (brazillian cherry) wood that once was a flooring, headed to the dump, then brought on a detour to Southern Pine. Since the board feet is primarily short runs, Eric at Wooden Sheep has designed chopping boards and is starting to assemble them.
Today, I heard one of the teachers kindly request one of the students to pull up his pants. She joked, I keep telling you, no one wants to see what’s in those pants on a jobsite. In the middle of his whispering repetitive rapping, he softly responded ‘okay’, smiled behind the safety goggles and set down the wavering hammer, that really was only a tool for him to sing with. I learned later that he attended Summer camp with AWOL and was involved in recording a song with rapper Kid Syc. He told me that he will continue to only practice until he can make enough money to attend camp again. They say this student is categorized as a MID: Mild Intellectual Disability, which doesn’t mean much to me. I just know he wears sweet kicks and has a gentle smile.
Here’s a little bit of what we are up too…..p.s. I am not allowed to photograph these students. someone, somewhere has labeled them as something and request no photographs.
“Shifting charity into enterprise”
It’s amazing how quickly her voice, excitement and perseverance can change everything that you were thinking at one precise moment. I like to watch her talks on Ted.com every couple of months, to remind myself WHY I am doing what I am doing. If you haven’t seen her Ted Talks, shame on you. Watch them, again and again.
She was the executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, a non-profit focused on public advocacy and environmental solutions. They create green jobs, train individuals for these jobs and push for improvements on air quality in urban communities. She now has a staff and consulting firm, Majora Carter Group, that help visions become a reality. This is just one of the amazing human beings in this world really making a difference.
Here’s a the first built project with Savannah High and Wooden sheep in a little more detail. I posted a couple of more pictures on Southern Pine’s blog…
Or click here too!
Empty, overgrown urban lots have quite the story. They have been homes to native plant life, animals, humans, food, etc. Overtime, human occupancy has created what’s called an urban area.
Backyard green space located on 34th and Reynolds Streets
Our Savannah urban area has seen many phases, face lifts and dormant stages over the years. Most recently the stage of urban decay has taken over. My focus: curing the blighted area in our own backyard at Southern Pine Company of Georgia.
It all started with a need for a greenhouse and now, well NOW we have Savannah High school special education students on our site kicking us into high gear. We have been cleaning, recycling and planting to the plot of land in the back of Southern Pine’s building, and for those of you that were unable to take a peek at the new garden while at RE:fest, well I have included some progress photos!
And this is just the beginning phase of a wonderful apprenticeship!!
Savannah High students helping clear the garden space
STAY TUNED for updates on the program!!!
Some countries recognize a “leap year” for highschoolers. This is when newly highschool graduates take off one year in between highschool and college. Some youth might clear their heads by picking up a back pack and traveling, or working a full time job or sitting on their bum eating fish and chips. However, this “leap year” is suppose to help guide a person towards their ultimate career and life choice.
Here in America we don’t enable that type of behavior. We have you on a career track by age 13, writing college prep papers at 15 and applying for over-priced schools at 17 and starting a lifetime of debt at 18. Is this the best solution for all?
Disabled youth get lost in the sea of statistics of the unemployed, drop out youth and have become stereotyped as “unable because disabled”. However, an apprenticeship is something that could change statistics, help youth gain hands on job experience, and maybe even clear a child’s head and point him/her in the direction they do or don’t want to go down. Now this sounds like a plan for all: the disabled, unable and fully able.
With over 1,000 recognizable apprentice-able occupations, why not explore additional options for the new youth of America?
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth explores in the ins and outs of completing a successful apprenticeship.
Read it and soak it up!