What did you do before your time at EDA/BBCI?
Back when I was 20 years old, I worked for a heavy highway construction company for my first 2 and a half years in the Carpenter’s Union. Prior to that, I was unemployed for about a year after the Burger King I was working at for about 2 years was forced to shut down. I worked there from the age of 16-18.
What brought you to the construction industry?
An old friend of my mom was a union carpenter and told me about the program. After hearing what it paid, I was sold!
Can you briefly explain what you do at EDA/BBCI?
Most people don’t know that my family and I were evicted from our home and were in-between homes for a few years prior to me joining the union. My eldest sibling went to stay with our grandmother and the rest of us found ourselves crammed into a two-bedroom apartment low on food and amenities. My mother was single raising four children, so she never had the time to pursue her dream of becoming of a nurse and making the necessary income to comfortably support four children. She would often break down as the financial struggle became unbearable.
What are some things that most people don't know about you?
I did not pass the carpentry test the first time around and was forced to wait an entire year for a second opportunity. At the age of 19 I passed on my second try, and at the age of the 20 I wasted no time moving my family into a bigger more accommodating townhouse, where everyone had their own room for the first time in our lives. My mother was able to find the time to go back to school and she officially graduated nursing school in 2020.
If you weren’t in the construction industry, where would you be today?
If I didn’t join the Carpenter’s Union, my alternative was the military. My family desperately needed income and that seemed to be the next best guaranteed alternative.
If you could work in any other trade or department here at EDA/BBCI, where would you be?
If I could work in any other department in EDA… I would work as the owner. I think that would be pretty dope!
What is the biggest challenge you've faced in work? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced at work was the learning curve into becoming a carpenter, as I had NO prior carpentry experience whatsoever prior to joining the union. Also tolerating the impatience and disrespect of my mentors at my last company, as I tried my hardest to grasp every new task that came my way.
What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA/BBCI?
The best part about my experience working with EDA is feeling appreciated and noticed. Also, the energy and values the company bases itself off of. I think it’s amazing and I hope more companies can become more like EDA.
What is your favorite EDA value, and why?
My favorite EDA value is Smile, Laugh, and Enjoy Life. What is a life without these things? Everyone’s ultimate main goal in life should be to enjoy it!