During April 2011, (18) San Diego Job Corps Carpentry Trade students and their instructors performed several weeks of community volunteer service at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA in San Diego.
“This has been a good experience applying the skills we’re learning in class,” stated 20 year old Carpentry student Braulio Santana, from Temecula, CA. Santana recently obtained his GED, and will complete his trade and receive his high school diploma this year. “We’re renovating the floor and the dasher boards on the soccer arena,” he continued. “Some of our newer students are working with us this week, and we’re showing them what we’ve learned. We’ve also had a student from our Welding trade helping us with the welding part. Overall, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re helping the young kids who take part in this program.”
YMCA Executive Director Michael Brunker was appreciative of Job Corps’ assistance. “We’ve worked with Job Corps in the past,” he advised. “They’ve always helped us when we needed it. Their work here on the arena will save us $50,000 in labor costs. The taxpayers through the Department of Labor invest money in training these young people,” he added, “and they get the opportunity to apply their skills here.”
Mr. Brunker’s sentiments were echoed by Wally Husted and Ed Miles, San Diego Job Corps Carpentry Trade instructors, who are overseeing the project. “I’m proud of the work our students are doing,” stated Ed Miles. “Two students from our Tile and Plumbing trades even volunteered to help us. We try to help the community as much as we can as it not only helps programs like the YMCA, but the hands on experience is invaluable to our students. They receive a free education at Job Corps, along with so many other benefits,” he added. “This is a good way for students to show their appreciation for what they are receiving from our program, and to give back to the community.”
The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA’s website www.jackierobinson.ymca.org details the organization’s activities and on-going contributions to the community. It also contains Jackie Robinson’s words: “Life is not important except in the impact is has on other people’s lives.”