Gus’s journey at Pathways has been transformative, leading him to discover capabilities he didn’t know he had. Initially, Gus struggled with focus and was easily distracted. However, he has come a long way since he first started, developing the ability to stay on task and demonstrating significant growth and maturity.
Gus also experienced notable growth in communication during his time in the program. Initially, he was a young man of few words, offering brief responses even when asked questions. However, as Gus became more comfortable in the program, his confidence blossomed, and he found it easier to engage in conversations. His newfound communication skills along with his growing interest in business led him to learn how to calculate and quote custom projects for customers and spending time learning from Dave about business and marketing and contemplating the idea of opening his own business someday—a thought that previously seemed unlikely. “I’d like to go to college and learn about business and potentially open up my own business one day,”
Gus also discovered that he thrives as a kinesthetic learner. The hands-on approach in Pathways, where learning happens alongside practical work, resonated with his natural tendencies. He found greater enjoyment in acquiring new skills and learning through hands-on experiences than in traditional classroom learning. This realization sparked Gus’s interest in running a business in the trades and made him appreciate the value of hands-on work.
In addition to personal growth, Gus contributed significantly to the program. He was pivotal in designing popular engravings for water bottles, cutting boards, cups, and keychains. “I’m proud that I helped come up with new designs for the water bottles, cutting boards, cups, and key chains.” His creative input surprised everyone, emphasizing the importance of giving students equal opportunities to explore their talents. Furthermore, Gus took on the responsibility of making spoon rings when the previous student left the program, and he is now passing on his knowledge to someone else, ensuring continuity.
Throughout his journey, the Pathways staff played a crucial role in supporting and encouraging Gus, instilling confidence in his academic abilities and responsibilities. Despite not loving school, Gus’s perseverance and the staff’s belief in him led to remarkable achievements. “You guys have encouraged me to get my work done and told me it’s possible for me to come back from the failing grades I had. So that really made me realize I could do it and I actually did my work and I ended up getting it done, like you guys said it was possible.” He completed his work as encouraged and succeeded, proving he could overcome challenges.
Reflecting on his experiences, Gus shared valuable wisdom, advising younger students to save money—an example of his newfound maturity and responsibility. From a shy and uncertain individual, Gus has emerged as a self-assured senior who contributes, teaches, and leaves a lasting impact on the program.
The future holds exciting prospects for Gus, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing his continued growth and accomplishments.
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