PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The unfulfilled dream of a late member of Philadelphia’s old school board has new life, helping students learn trades.

Former school board member Tom Mills Sr. wanted to start a vocational charter school. He secured a $435,000 state grant, but died three years ago before the school was ever established.

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His sons, including Tom Mills Jr., encountered a difficult road in using the money for its original purpose.

“Because it was an old grant. It was an old grant for a brick-and-mortar school. So, really, things had to get worked around and everybody sign off,” Mills Jr. explained.

Tom Mills Jr. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

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After years of work, the nonprofit Philadelphia School Partnership is now awarding the money, over three years, to the Finishing Trades Institute, to expand internships in the fields of painting, drywall finishing, and glass work.

One-hundred-twenty district, charter, and Catholic school students will now be able to learn skills that may lead to careers.

What would Tom Mills Sr. say?

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“He’d have said, ‘Good job. Now, make it work,'” said Mills Jr.