As thirty-one fourth and fifth graders set their hands to work building a folding stool, scents of rich oak, from fresh sanded wood, and the tinkering of hammers resonated through the studio of Pathways Innovation Center. With such a blend of hard work, creativity, and the nostalgic smell of a workshop, it was evident Boys & Girls Clubs members were receiving an invaluable experience.
Every other year the Wyoming Association for Careers & Technical Education hosts the Kids to Careers program. Joseph Martinez, of Wyoming Technical Education Association, was in charge of today’s woodwork activity. “It exposes kids that haven’t been exposed to these things before so they know they have other options available to them in the future.”
The goal is to introduce youth to alternative career paths, or even hobbies, that otherwise may have never been available to them before. Building a folding stool, and painting it cotton candy colors even, is no small feat. “This activity is a stepping stone toward careers and education. They’re learning how to follow instructions, step-by-step procedures and to create. They can take pride in what they’ve made and get to take home,” said Vice President of Operations Derek DeBoer.
Mr. Martinez was excited for the opportunity BGCCW kids received through this activity. “Getting kids comfortable in a shop or lab setting frees up opportunities for kids to continue their education; in either automotive paths, fine arts, CTE, etc.”
The young woodworkers were full of grins as they folded up their finished masterpieces and tested out the seat’s strength; their hard work and individuality unmistakable in each project. And as a bonus, they got to watch as a laser engraver cut the CTE logo onto each of their stool seats.