Behind the facade of the Jacobi Warehouse a nondescript building on Wilmington's Water Street one mans dream comes true as teens build birdhouses, planters, hand-turned bowls, even ballpoint pens along with other projects in the woodworking shop and art room.
Kids Making It, the after-school and weekend program that helps keep at-risk youth off the streets and encourages them to stay in school and graduate by providing vocational training and mentoring in a family-like atmosphere, also helps them transition successfully into college or the workplace.
KMI, which officially began in 1999, morphed from a part-time experiment to an award-winning nonprofit organization serving more than 1,500 kids in twelve years, so far. Founder and executive director Jimmy Pierce describes the experience of working with these kids as more than rewarding.
"Its the answer to a question I asked myself 20-some years ago when I was making more and more money as a lawyer, but becoming less happy doing it," Pierce explains. "The question: What would you be doing if you could do anything? My answer: woodworking."