“Everything we do is built on previous days and our ability to move forward into something positive. Those days add up.”
While visiting his family in Mississippi, Richard Upchurch was sitting in the living room with his nephew, who was lost in a sea of toys. In the cacophony of beeps and pre-recorded noises, he thought it would be fun to build him a device to explore his own voice. Richard started out cutting and sanding wood on his apartment roof, gluing parts in his bedroom, and assembling in the kitchen. A year later, he began to build his business and community at a wood shop in Brooklyn. His company became an internship provider for local programs that promote self-sufficiency for inner-city students ages 15–19. “My goal for all who work with us is to feel a sense of place and pride in building something with their own hands, and find a voice in a world that often tells them to be quiet” he says.