To Da’Sahn Smith, Job Corps Feels Like Home

Da’Sahn Smith is learning carpentry at the Edison Job Corps Center in New Jersey. He’s grateful to his instructors. In fact, he sees them as father figures.

“They feel like fathers here. It literally feels like a brotherhood, honestly. The way that they’re so welcoming.”

But Da’Sahn’s real father is the real reason he enrolled in Job Corps.

“I’m not going to lie. I did not really think about coming here. You know, my dad really persuaded me to come here. He said I don’t want you to work at Popeyes forever, so I found this free program for you, check it out. Let’s learn about this, you know. So, I came here.

“And I just jumped right into it. I listen to whatever my dad says. Now, I’m here. I know I’m going to be really successful. I’m going to have a family business with him. I love this. This is what I needed.”

Still Da'Sahn Smith
Da’Sahn Smith, student.

The plan is to get certified in several areas of construction, thanks to Job Corps, then team up with his dad to open a general contractor business.

Da’Sahn loves the Job Corps program and sees how it’s changing not only his life, but the lives of other young people.

“They came here with no car, no license. They came here with no high school diploma. They come here, and now they have all of that. You know, I really love working here. It’s showing me what it’s going to be like in the real world, especially having great instructors. You know, they always tell you to be here early because early is on time.”

Da’Sahn says he hopes the Job Corps program continues to expand because there are a lot of young people who need it.

“People coming up. They’re not sure about college and having to stress over paying the college back, if you couldn’t afford it. So, when you come here and get that free hands-on training at that. This is very, very good, especially prepping you for the real world and having skills that you need to get the job that pay you very well.”

Still Da'Sahn Smith
Da’Sahn Smith, student.

“Being in this trade, you see how hard and consistent a lot of the students are. It’s very inspiring and motivating.

“They hold you accountable. That’s very, very vital. You need, especially because you’re working with other people. You don’t want to bring that negative energy to other people. It’s going to affect your work.

“I’ve been consistent. I’ve really seen a change, honestly, in my consistency, and that’s really what I’ve been struggling with.”