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 and 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 explained. “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 said growing up in California, outside of big churches, he’d never experienced an organization so committed to helping others. He hopes to one day give back to Goodwill, as it has provided him the necessary tools needed to achieve his dreams.
“Just by talking to a few people and seeing, it feels like people at Goodwill have this love in their eyes for people that they meet,” Brycen said. “It just really inspires me. I know for the rest of my life I will be grateful to Goodwill.”