Key Bank donation helps YAP students chart path to life success

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
September 4, 2016
 

Brycen was sitting in his high school manufacturing class two years ago when a presenter entered the room and began speaking about some extracurricular program. Brycen wasn’t paying too much attention. He thought he’d heard it all before.

Suddenly, the man’s message piqued his interest. This was different.

“I raised my head and started listening to this guy and all the opportunity he talked about,” Brycen explained. “It wasn’t a college thing. It wasn’t a schooling thing. I thought, ‘This is a program meant to help people.’ I had this feeling that it would carry me into the next step in life.”

That was the first step in what’s been a transformative experience for Brycen. That day he learned about Seattle Goodwill’s Youth Aerospace Program (YAP), which focuses on aviation/manufacturing training that guides youth through their final year of high school, first year of community college and subsequent job placement in the field.

The program also helps youth develop knowledge, skills and motivation to achieve in school. They also learn to contribute positively to the greater community, be competitive in the job market and successfully enroll in and complete post-secondary education.

Brycen is a YAP 3 student. He’s enrolled in Everett Community College and well on the pathway to building a bright future for himself and his family. That’s especially important given some of the hardships Brycen’s been dealt.

He moved from California to Washington where he attended Snohomish High School as a sophomore. He left home, moving to a completely unfamiliar place, to get a new lease on life.

“My dad was a drug addict, and my birth mom was a drug addict,” Brycen said. “You can imagine there was a few complications with all of that. (Moving) wasn’t to get away from them, but rather it was to get a new start in life, because from day one it’s been like all-the-odds-against-us kind of thing.”

Goodwill’s YAP has been a blessing, Brycen said. He’s forged lasting friendships while charting a path to a career that will help him one day support a family of his own—one of his largest life goals.

“With the knowledge Goodwill has gifted me with, their support and my faith and everything, it’s like I’m unstoppable at this point,” Brycen said. “So it’s really just this amazing feeling. It’s like for the first time in my life things are actually working and that is just inspiring. The ultimate goal is to have a wife and family and really provide for them. When I was young that was stolen from me. The best way to fulfill that in my life is to recreate that myself, so I’m going to do it.”

Brycen’s YAP 3 classmate, Asia, has also grown thanks to her time in the YAP program.

Asia went to elementary school in the United States before moving to the Philippines and finishing her schooling there. She graduated at 15 years old and moved back to the U.S.

Asia—always shy and reserved growing up—has blossomed into a far more outgoing person thanks to the YAP program, and she’s also discovered the type of career she hopes to have.

“It changed me a lot,” said Asia of her first year in the program. “I was that kid who always locked up and never wanted to show my true me. I’ve changed a lot. My mom sees it. I’m outgoing more. I’m getting the soft skills I need. This program is just changing all of us from teenagers to real adults.”

Key Bank, which is prioritizing workforce development and education, has awarded Seattle Goodwill and Everett Community College a $75,000 grant to support the Seattle Goodwill Youth Aerospace Program and ECC enrollment.

“We know students who leave with a two-year degree earn, on average, twice as much as adults without a high school diploma,” said Barbara “b.g.” Nabors-Glass, Vice President of Seattle Goodwill’s Job Training and Education. “We are very grateful for the support of Key Bank for helping impact our student’s futures in such a positive way.”


 

Andrew is a Content Specialist for Seattle Goodwill and has a wealth of writing, communication and digital media experience. He loves all things sports related and owns a treasure trove of memorabilia. He also enjoys storytelling, the outdoors and sugar is his kryptonite.

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