YouthBuild Success Story:

From Textbooks & Tool Belts to Tires & Brake Pads

By Derek Foerster, 2015 YouthBuild Graduate



I started at ReSOURCE YouthBuild in October of 2014, and spent the next ten months earning the credits for my high school diploma and certifications in construction and weatherization. Along the way, I made some new friends and had a great time, learning the trade building a shed out at Roosevelt Park and going to Massachusetts for the annual YouthBuild Carpentry Challenge, where we took home a gold medal.


As part of a transition from school to workforce, I participated in Old Spokes Home & Bike Recycle Vermont's Apprenticeship Program. For six months I trained at Bike Recycle Vermont, learning to rebuild a bike from the ground up. I had a little bit of home knowledge, but I learned a lot about how to properly fix things and use the right tools for the right job from Dan Hock, a professional mechanic at Old Spokes Home. I really enjoyed working with Dan and the other mechanics. It was a great time and would do it again any time. Dan and the staff were very patient and helpful, with any questions that I had and if I didn't get something, he helped me work through it and get it done.


As I was in the apprenticeship program, Pam Laser from ReSOURCE YouthBuild had set up a bunch of job shadows with local shops like Ski Rack, Old Spokes Home, Earl's Cyclery, and Outdoor Gear Exchange. I enjoyed all of them and wanted to pursue a job at one of them. So when Pam told me that Chris Morrissey from Ski Rack was interested in me applying to work there for the summer, I went in and talked to him. I start the second week of April.