WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Each day, more than 400 kids who are suspended or have dropped out of school are on Wilmington streets with little supervision. But the lives of young people considered to be at risk are being changed in the former Jacobi Hardware building on Water Street.
Jimmy Piece, a successful attorney, gave a short woodworking course at the Jervay complex and saw a need for a safe alternative for the children there. That's when he decied to begin a year-round program dedicated to inner city and at risk youth.
"We had that program going, we had kids hanging on the windows outside, asking to be let in to build something," said Pierce.
The strong mentoring environment instills patience, pride, confidence and teamwork in the young people. The goal is to help all young people stay in school, graduate and then transition successfully into college or the workplace as responsible adults.
Tyrell Brockington started with "Kids Making It" when he was 14. After high school graduation, he was promoted to a supervisor position and helps teach all the classes.
"It did a lot for me," said Brockington. "I get to go to places where I never thought I could do, and meet people that I would have never met."
"The secret to life is simple," explained Pierce. "Stand up straight, be a good person, look to help everyone out. You do that and the world will come to you."
Pierce says he sees success in all the kids who come together each afternoon. They share tools and work together to produce quality merchandise that is sold to the public. He says he can also see them grow into mature and respected citizens in the process.
For his efforts in starting a national, award winning woodworking program in Wilmington, WECT names Jimmy Pierce as September's Cape Fear Hero.
"Kids Making It" depends on grants and donations to operate, and like most other agencies, money is extremely tight. A power breakfast fund-raiser will be held October 28th at the Shell Island Resort.
To contribute to Kids Making It, visit:
15 South Water Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
or email : email@example.com