Youth of Promise

“Ever since I was 12 I’ve been in and out of jail.”

James had just finished a 7-year prison sentence before enrolling in our Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP). He felt trapped in a cycle of unhealthy choices that left him with no options, and he didn’t think he could achieve anything other than being a gang member. He says, “I thought representing a neighborhood was my life and my purpose.”

Then, James took advantage of the opportunity to start a union construction career through the APP. The union construction trades pay excellent wages, provide great benefits, and don’t discriminate based on background.

James made a commitment to transforming his life. Because of his dedication, he was accepted into the Cement Masons Union and has been working full-time since he graduated in the spring of 2016.

James got more out of the APP than he expected. “It changed me from the inside, out,” he says. “It’s a program like I’ve never encountered.” When James spoke to fellow APP graduates and guests at the graduation ceremony held here at Flintridge Center, he said, “This is a building of love, a building of hope, a building of change.”

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