Jaheem Lewis, 18, says he’s always liked to build. He’s part of a group of teenage boys taking part in a summer training program at Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore, Maryland, teaching basic carpentry skills like safety, construction math and how to use tools.
It’s a partnership between the Home Builders Institute, Baltimore City Public Schools and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. “I built my sister a little dollhouse,” Lewis said. “Before my father passed, he been building stuff. So I’ve been looking up to him and now, look at me, I’m here.”
Lewis will finish with an industry-recognized certificate that could lead to an entry-level job. He was just 11 years old when his father died, and he’s been in and out of detention since then. “I just had to turn my life around,” he said. As a father of two young children, “I got more to look forward to now,” he said. “I’m trying to be better.”