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Carpentry Students Awarded $5,000 at Builders Vibe Event

November 14, 2022- Guilford County Schools (GCS) students are reshaping the local construction and housing industry.

GCS’s Innovation Office celebrated students in the Fannie Mae Safer Together Green Housing Project Carpentry Pathway students at its Builders Vibe Community Night Out. Through the initiative, high school students have been learning how to address America’s affordable housing crisis while getting hands-on experience in the construction industry.

 “It allowed our students to go into communities and remodel a home, one home at a time, impacting communities and thinking about what it means to ensure affordable housing,” stated Dr. Eboni Chillis, chief innovation officer at GCS.

The cohort included students from Grimsley, Southern, High Point Central High Schools and Weaver Academy. In addition to remodeling properties, students also earned industry credentials and up to $20 per hour in pre-apprenticeship programs.

Jasmine Roth from HGTV’S “Help! I’ve Wrecked My House” headlined the event. Roth led a panel discussion sharing her journey to general contracting and explained why students earning trade skills while in high school is essential to the success of our nation’s economy and their lives.


Roth shared she got into construction by accident and would like to see programs like this be offered to students across the country. “Seeing this project and hearing about it, I couldn't help but come check it out. I mean, this is something that is unique, but hopefully, it will become the norm to see children and students entering into the construction industry, having the opportunity to learn about skilled trades and, you know, career paths that they may never have heard of or known about before, that's what it's all about,” Roth said. “…I work in construction every single day and I know first-hand how necessary these different careers and career paths are, so if we can plant that seed now in students and young folks, hopefully, as we go into this next generation of construction, we will be ready.”


During the event, students showed off their skills and had a chance to network with the district’s industry and business partners. The event culminated in a vesting ceremony. Similar to when doctors receive white coats at graduation, the cohort received industry-standard tool belts, safety equipment, and vests to celebrate their work.

Three students who went above and beyond during the program also received bonus checks for $5,000. To receive the money, students were evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Pre-apprentice on at least four of the seven homes renovated
  2. Attending at least three days of the summer learning opportunities
  3. Attending at least two of the training classes at UNCG
  4. Learning concepts on green construction, geospatial technology, and weatherization
  5. Completing at least 80% of their professional portfolio
  6. Attending and presenting at least one Builder’s Vibe Community Night Out Event
  7. Completing an application and essay
  8. Have good standing in attendance - in/out of school
  9. Exemplifying skills needed in the construction field

“When they first called my name, I didn't believe it,” Bernard Barr, a Southern Guilford High School senior, said. “It was nerve-wracking… it was surprising but a good feeling….” Barr says he plans to use the money to pursue an engineering degree at North Carolina A and T State University in the fall.

To see a recap of the event, click here.  To hear more from our students, click here.