Hiram, age 14, joined Job Training because he was trying to avoid getting into trouble with a gang of neighborhood boys. He quietly blended into a team working on a wood sculpture project.
After a few weeks, he asked if he could come to Job Training and volunteer to help out, even on days when his class did not meet. Humble and friendly, Hiram was soon leading projects for younger students.
He started to open up to his Job Training instructors, seeking guidance and change. Staff recognized his leadership potential and nominated him for a Rotary Youth Leadership Award.
He spent a week at leadership camp fine tuning his skills, which he practices daily as a new DAVA Junior Staff assistant. He recently reflected, “My favorite thing about DAVA is the fact that I can learn so many new skills. I learned how to use new tools and make a lot of different art projects, and I learned how to really work with detail.” Hiram is candid about what DAVA means to him, thankful for a space of his own outside of the pressures of family, school, and peers. Today, he can often be seen wearing a suit jacket to class so he looks “more professional,” poised to become a great leader for the future.