Hello! My name is Malik Owens and I’m going to tell you a little about myself. I am a 12th grade student who goes to Como Senior High School. I’ve been living in St. Paul for ten years and I really like it here. Even though I was born in Minnesota, I lived in other states for a bit. I was living in Atlanta Georgia for one month then I went to Gary Indiana for 2 weeks, I was three at that time, therefore I remember very little of what I did while I was there. It’s good being a teenager for one reason; you don’t have to worry about paying those infamous bills!
I spend most of my days going outside walking around and taking photos of flowers, trees and buildings. Photography has been my favorite hobby ever since I was 14 and it still is today. I enjoy taking photos because it allows me to remember all of the good and bad times I had in the past.
My Discovery of Urban Boatbuilders
While I was searching for a job in the summer of 2014, I stumbled upon Urban Boatbuilders which was hiring at the time. So I went to its official webpage and discovered that it was a nonprofit organization. It was hiring high school students from ages 16-19, which was a good thing because it was the only job that gave hands on training to young people. About two days after I summited my application, I received a phone call from one of the instructors named Angela. She told me that my interview would be in 3 days. My first interview was more enjoyable than I expected because Angela was very patient and kind, plus she is fun to talk to.
My First Experiences Working at Urban Boatbuilders
When I first started at Urban Boatbuilders, the work space was very small and narrow. The first day of work, we were playing something called the Name Game and Two Truths and a Lie which was led by Angela. I’m horrible at remembering people’s names.
The next day I started talking to the people who worked there before I did, and I relearned their names and the facts about them. The one that stood out to me the most was Angela. She was born in Japan and lived there for 3 years and 6 months. Then she came to America.
The First Boat I Built
The first boat I built was at the Minnesota State Fair with my crewmates. It was one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life. The first day was extremely tiring because I got a little too excited and I forgot to eat breakfast. Thankfully, there were snacks available. My favorite part of the building process was steam bending, mostly because it involved being able bend a long piece of wood without it breaking. I had a fun time interacting with people and giving the facts about the boats we build. After the boat was complete, I had felt a powerful sense of accomplishment. This made me want to continue building boats with better results. I love working here because whenever I complete a project, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment every time.
Photos by Malik Owens.