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updated: 8/17/2012 1:39 PM

Moving Picture: Leading area kids down road to success

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  • Curt Misavage talks with Nia Williams, 14, while they organize the maintenance room at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream. Misavage is the Facilities Manager and Youth Employment and Education Program mentor at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream.

       Curt Misavage talks with Nia Williams, 14, while they organize the maintenance room at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream. Misavage is the Facilities Manager and Youth Employment and Education Program mentor at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Misavage instructs Mohamed Dafelseed, 13, on fixing a railing.

       Misavage instructs Mohamed Dafelseed, 13, on fixing a railing.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Misavage shows Mohamed Dafelseed the best way to sweep up the leafs and debris.

       Misavage shows Mohamed Dafelseed the best way to sweep up the leafs and debris.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Misavage shows Nia Williams how to use a power drill as he and his team of students repair a railing at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream.

       Misavage shows Nia Williams how to use a power drill as he and his team of students repair a railing at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Curt Misavage, Facilities Manager and Youth Employment and Education Program mentor at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream, works with 14- and 15-year-old kids on gaining valuable work experience and skills.

       Curt Misavage, Facilities Manager and Youth Employment and Education Program mentor at Outreach Community Ministries in Carol Stream, works with 14- and 15-year-old kids on gaining valuable work experience and skills.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Moving Picture: The Mentor

 
 

Curt Misavage retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2006 and was looking for something to do.

In 2008, he volunteered to help paint the exterior of the Outreach Community Ministries building in Carol Stream.

Now, four years later, he's still there, working as a part-time facilities manager and a mentor to incoming high school students.

Misavage says he had just started working as facilities manager when officials of the outreach center approached him about starting a Youth Employment and Education Program to help teach high school students building, maintenance and general job skills.

The effort proved so successful, there are now more requests to participate in the program than available spaces.

He was able to work with only three students this summer because of funding restraints, but Misavage says he'd like to help more.

"I would love to have a whole classroom of students," he said.

Participants help maintain the Carol Stream building and learn to use tools and cleaning techniques that will help them no matter what career they pursue, Misavage says.

They're paid by the hour for their work, and Misavage says he's proud that he's never had a teen fail to show up or come late without calling first.

This summer, students did several larger projects at the facility, including framing and pouring a concrete step outside one of the doors, and repairing a collapsed metal railing used by other students to access a play area.

Misavage says he's seen more than one student who was having trouble in school join his program, turn themselves around and then head off to college. That's the theme of almost all the programs at Outreach Community Ministries, he says -- helping students become successful, thriving members of society.

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