Santa Fe, New Mexico
When Joseph was 18 and living in Albuquerque, school wasn’t going so well. His cousin — who graduated from Santa Fe YouthBuild — recommended YouthBuild, telling him that he could get job experience and get a stipend while working to complete his GED.
Joseph started the YouthBuild program and began vocational training in construction, helping to build three houses with YouthWorks and Habitat for Humanity. During his time in YouthBuild, Joseph also spent time in the YouthWorks Kitchen in the Culinary program as a way to try new experiences. At YouthBuild, he developed an interest in cooking and is now working full-time with YouthWorks Culinary Arts and Catering Program as Kitchen Manager, helping to provide training for new groups of YouthBuild participants.
Being part of the YouthBuild program not only inspired in Joseph a love of cooking, but it also helped to jumpstart his career. He made many connections and gained work experience. He notes that getting connected to YouthBuild helped him get his foot in the door and gave him a solid foundation for his future.
Now, Joseph will meet young people in Santa Fe who are struggling in the public school system or having a difficult time with education in general. He always recommends the YouthWorks or YouthBuild programs to them.