Alan had been working for two years as a cart pusher at Menard’s and was searching for something more. He had graduated high school a year early by taking online classes but didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He knew traditional college wasn’t for him and he felt lost but was eager to work and hungry for change. He wanted to create a better future not only for himself, but for the most important person in his life–– his one-year-old son. Alan heard about YouthBuild from a customer at work and decided to apply. He immediately fell in love with the program and the staff. He loved how involved everyone was and how much they cared about his success. He realized that the type of mentorship YouthBuild offers was exactly what he was missing in his life. He started gaining hands-on experience at the job sites and soon found his passion for construction. “The most valuable thing I learned from YouthBuild besides my trade,” Alan said, “was how to be humble. I learned how to communicate better with others and learned how to work hard for what I want. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to give back to my community what YouthBuild gave to me.” Alan now works full time as a Journeyman Union Carpenter for Blinderman Construction. a YouthBuild employer partner. He just purchased his first home and his son, now five years old, just started school. “I hope my son grows up to be better than I was, and learns from who I am now, not who I was before YouthBuild,” said Alan. “If it wasn’t for YouthBuild, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. That’s the truth.”