Thanks to a new partnership between NBSS and the Dorchester Youth Collaborative (DYC), two young men changed their life trajectories by earning diplomas from the Locksmithing & Security Technology program.
"First-generation college students are the first people in a family to attend a four-year college. But what about the students who come from homes where no one has a skilled trade? It was with those young people in mind that we came up with 'First-Generation Tradespeople' program," explains Emmett Folgert, Executive Director of DYC, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring, jobs, and recreation for low-income and at-risk youth.
Folgert and President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez CF '99 conceived the idea for the partnership in 2015 when they met while both were Barr Foundation Fellows. Folgert recalls that Miguel quickly took to the idea of working with DYC as a cultivating partner to help identify qualified applicants.
Funding from the City of Boston's Neighborhood Jobs Trust helps offset student tuition. The first two beneficiaries of the partnership were Krsna Clark LK '17 and Romello Williams LK '17.
"The help from DYC was extremely important to my success. Emmett and (DYC program manager) Kenny mentored, encouraged, believed in, and supported me through this journey. There were times when I didn't want to get up every morning. Kenny called, stayed on me, and made sure that I made it to school every day," says Romello.
If I didn't have the opportunity to be a part of the wonderful environment at NBSS, I might be sitting at home unemployed, or possibly getting mixed up with the wrong individuals.
Now a department manager at the Quincy branch of a national retail chain, Romello also has high praise for the program.
"If I didn't have the opportunity to attend and be a part of the wonderful environment at NBSS, I'd probably be working full-time but still trying to figure out my next move or plan in life. Or I might be sitting at home unemployed, or possibly getting mixed up with the wrong individuals," says Romello.
"NBSS provides a systematic intervention that establishes a pipeline from the streets where young people can learn a trade. Krsna and Romello are like celebrities when they come back to DYC. Their confidence has really developed. They're proud of themselves, because they're damn good at what they do," he says.