During his time at Constructing Hope, Willie faced numerous challenges. He had recently been released from prison and had a newborn son. He even had to bring his son to class with him, inspiring Constructing Hope to start making childcare available for all students. Unfortunately, Willie also lost his mother while going through the program, and he said that Constructing Hope was the “glue that held me together.” 

Willie is now a carpenter’s apprentice at Northwest Scaffolding, with just one more term left until he becomes a journeyman. In his free time, he attends an African American support group through his union. In the group, he shares his experiences about getting into the industry and helps new tradesmen start successful careers. Willie also takes classes on leadership, and recently was able to lead his first job as a foreman at Northwest Scaffolding.  

In the future, Willie wants to open his own business focusing on fencing and decking. He already takes on extra projects to gain more experience in this area before he opens the business. Ideally, he’d one day like to get into flipping houses, and buy a house of his own. For Willie, he says that Constructing Hope “gave me the opportunity to find a career I could be proud of and financially provide for my family.”