Total loan: $8,500


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Detroit, MI, United States / Education

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Johnny's story

Born and raised on the west side of Detroit by my Mother I was exposed to construction and self sufficiency at a young age. My grandfather who was a welder for General Motors for 30+ years taught me the importance of hard work and taking care of my family as well as how a “man should always have trade” and “be able to do for himself!” My father , although absent, played a big part in exposing me to construction as he worked and developed housing in Detroit. Occasionally working with my Dad on sites in and around Detroit I took an interest in construction and the people involved in the process. One thing that bothered me when I would go to sites was that there was no one that looked like me working! I would go to school and try to explain what I saw and what we were building to my friends and classmates, but it was unbelievable to them because they had never been EXPOSED to ANY skilled trades! As I got older I realized that the more people were exposed to the trades and the more information they were fed about the endless opportunities, their interest grew! A week after graduating high school I was arrested for participating in a robbery with some friends. While out on bond I joined the Carpenters Local 1234 apprenticeship program and worked for 1 year before being sentenced to 4 years in prison. While in prison I participated in every program that was available and became a Carpenter for Habitat for Humanity building custom cabinets for low income housing. Once I was released I went back into work in construction in Detroit with my Father developing condominiums and lifts in downtown Detroit. I move on from there to Laborers Local 1191 where I was named “Apprentice of the Year” and then became lead instructor at The Detroit Training Center.