My name is Mathias, and I am a Youth Instructor at Urban Boatbuilders. Being a Youth Instructor was a great experience for me and so was the whole boatbuilding process overall! It took me a while to become a Youth Instructor and was hard. This how I learned about Urban Boatbuilders: I had gotten into trouble with the law and was put on probation so I couldn’t hang out with friends, go outside or really do much of anything. I was starting to get depressed, and wasn’t motivated to do anything. Waking up was a chore but my probation officer Steve Horgan told me about a program that was hiring. They did hands on learning and would offer me an opportunity to learn how to build boats. I was interested and applied, and 2 days later was called by Phil, an instructor, to come in for an interview. I was nervous yet excited. The short version is I got the position as an Apprentice.
I came in Wednesday February 29th 2014 and started learning right there. Since I was nervous, I was very quiet and just kept to myself. But over time I got more comfortable. I hated being around a teacher figure when I started, but Urban Boatbuilders made learning fun. I built a paddle and it made me very proud of myself to make something with my hands. After that, I started to work on a canoe. Little did I know it was going to be so fun and easy. After a while I got promoted and had a leadership position as a Senior Apprentice. It was a big thing for me, and I had to speak up more and help new people. I was teaching other Apprentices how to use tools.
When Urban Boatbuilders moved to the new workshop I was hired on as a Youth Instructor! I was proud of myself and grateful I got to stay on longer. I was a bit more confident and was talking more so I made many friends here. I’m surprised at how much I learned and being a youth instructor was really different. I had to come up with to-do lists and enforce the rules. It was difficult at first, but after a while I got used to it.
Now I’m going to be graduating and will be looking for another job, but being a Youth Instructor has made me ready to be in a work environment. Working at Urban Boatbuilders has been a fun experience and I’m glad that things happened the way they did after I got in trouble with the law. If it hadn’t, I probably would not have learned about this place. And that was how I became a Youth Instructor and became more responsible.