Employment means a lot to Javion.
The 14-year-old landscaping crew member on Boone County Family Resources’ Life and Work Team describes working on the crew as an opportunity to be outside, learn to safely use equipment and follow directions.
Although one of the youngest trainees on the landscaping crew, Javion has revealed a strong work ethic. The soon-to-be eighth-grader at Oakland Junior High School began training two shifts a week when he joined the crew in February 2012 and recently requested to train Monday through Friday this summer.
When asked about his motivation to increase his shifts this summer, he said, “I like to learn new skills.” After additional thought, he also shared that “I don’t like doing nothing. Working is better than looking at my mom all day.”
Javion’s mother, undoubtedly, appreciates the sentiment. Attitude is a large part of Javion’s success on the crew. Supervisors have repeatedly recognized Javion’s positive attitude, enthusiasm and desire to do a good job while weeding, watering or planting on the work site.
“He is always eager to get started and when assigned a task, he doesn’t complain. He works until the job is done,” said Christi Brown, Community Skills Specialist and one of Javion’s supervisors on the crew.
Javion has an appreciation for order and organization. “I like to make things neat so they don’t look ugly,” said Javion. He likes the results he sees after picking up garbage and cleaning at home and would like to transfer his skills to the janitorial crew sometime in the future.
Javion also has his sights set on helping students find some order and organize their thoughts as a school communicator. He describes the job as someone who helps students who are having trouble at school and need to talk to someone. “I’d like to do that,” he said.
When Javion isn’t training on the landscaping crew or thinking about the future, he can usually be found playing outside, riding a moped, drawing, walking or trying to reason with his younger twin siblings.
Javion has a busy summer of landscaping ahead of him that will better prepare him for his ultimate goal, finding community employment. Considering Javion’s motivation and abilities, his organizational skills will be put to good use as he will likely need to balance school and community employment in the near future.