BY R.J. HEIM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Even though the Rhode Island Home Show doesn't start until next Thursday, hundreds of students from across the Ocean State were already at the Convention Center in Providence Friday.
They're building everything from solar houses to tree houses, as well as setting the foundations for the future.
Every student in the Exhibit Hall is not just helping to build a set of solar tree houses with a connecting walkway.
Johnathan Bates, who goes to the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, has been building up to this moment.
"There's a lot of people in my family like electricians, previous family they're all carpenters or architects," said Bates, who knew early on this is what he wanted to do. "I knew that right away."
Or a 7 room designer showcase home, that Central Falls High School senior Jimmy Lopez was helping to construct.
"I like it. I see myself doing stuff like this," said Lopez.
Or a 5 room technology showcase, which Mt. Hope High School senior Alex Damiano was working on.
"I'd like to go in to architecture, so I like to see all of this stuff," said Damiano.
But, while there's a lot of day to day work going on at the Rhode Island Convention Center for the students, they're also working on their future.
Genesis Brown is part of Youth Build Providence and is totally in to his work.
"You have to really like your job, because if you don't really like it, you're not going to be able to make any money and you're not going to be able to get hired anywhere," said Brown, who thinks he'll be doing this for a living.
Central Falls High School Teacher Brian Crookes wants his students to succeed. He's been at the site monitoring the student's progress with encouragement.
"They have to problem solve every minute that they're here," said Crookes. "They have to follow directions, they have to talk to people, and build community through what they're doing, so it's all of their life skills that they're going to need when they graduate."
Overseeing the whole operation is John Marcantonio of the Rhode Island Builders Association.
"Those types of career choices are very good choices for people today," Marcantonio said.
And it's not just a career.
For Pilgrim High School senior Austin Jourdain, who said he was adopted when he was a baby, it's a way to give back.
"I want to hopefully get my own business one day, find myself, and just work, make a difference," Jourdain said. "I want to help build houses for homeless people and just help out the community."
Over the course of the next week, both ends of the Convention Center Exhibit Hall will be finished to feature the crafts of the students, a testament to their hard work, and their vision of tomorrow.
Full article and video found here.