WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — The path to success often requires the chance for new opportunities and the Challenge Program in Wilmington is offering just that.
There’s a workshop that isn’t just producing custom high-end pieces of furniture, it’s a workshop that’s building confidence and restoring value in the craftsman inside.
“It’s a tribute to the human spirit. You would never know from whence they come and what they’re going back to and it’s frightening they have to put up with that, but it’s encouraging they’re trying to get out of it and make better of it,” said Andrew McKnight, the program’s founder.
For the last 20 years, the nonprofit Challenge Program has been providing vocational training and construction skills to some of Delaware’s at-risk youth, but it’s been the last two years that their buzzing furniture business has taken off. They have been hiring program graduates full-time.
Kyle Hamilton, a Challenge Program graduate, was one of the first craftsman to be hired full-time after calling for weeks to get to work.
“Every day, I left my name and number. I did it for three months straight,” said Hamilton.
Ever since, he has been able to provide for his son on his own.
“They provide you with tools to fall back on if you fall out,” said Hamilton.
Their furniture is in restaurants all over the area, like the Stitch House Brewery in Wilmington, Heirloom in Lewes and also Talula’s Garden and Yards in Philadelphia.