NBSS Featured by Woodworking Network

July 12, 2019

Abbie Smith at work creating marquetry

Woodworking Network featured NBSS in an article in the July 2019 issue of FDMC Magazine. They highlighted the work of two recent graduates, Abbie Smith CF ’19, a US Marine Corps veteran, and Diego Rojas CA ’17, PC ’19, a first-generation American, as well as NBSS President Sarah Turner.

Abbie Smith, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, grew up restoring boats with her family and discovered her passion for building while working at a local furniture store in Maine. This led both Abbie and her husband to pursue woodworking training at NBSS; Abbie in Cabinet & Furniture Making, and her husband in Carpentry.

Both of their studies were made possible by the NBSS Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps to bridge the financial gap beyond regular VA benefits for tuition, tools, and materials. “Veterans offer employers extremely valuable mechanical, analytical, troubleshooting and interpersonal skills, such as team work, collaboration and conflict resolution,” says Abbie. “Working with your hands, problem solving, and learning to be patient with yourself, while creating something that’s useful, can also be cathartic.”

Diego working on a set of french doors.

Preservation Carpentry and Carpentry graduate Diego Rojas CA ’17, PC ’19 immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 12 with his family, but it wasn’t until an internship with the National Park Service through Madison Park Technical Vocational High School that he felt he found his place among craftspeople. His success there led him to apply to NBSS.

“When I graduate, I will miss the passionate and supportive environment of North Bennet Street School the most,” he says. “The opportunity to go here on a full-ride scholarship has afforded me a better life – a way to support my family with a sense of purpose. For that, I am forever grateful.” Diego’s scholarship was made possible by the Workforce Development Initiative, another of the many financial aid options available to qualified students every year. Learn more about Financial Aid at NBSS.