Volunteer Curriculum Instructor (VCI): Blake McBurney, Ashlyn DiCarlo, Jim Wilson
Blake: I am a native of Atlanta and grew up in the industrial construction industry. My professional career has been involved with designing and building industrial steam and power plants. As I approach retirement and move into the next phase of my life, I have been looking for opportunities to mentor and train young people with skills they can use throughout their lifetime. Toolbox provides an opportunity for students to learn new skills including safety, teamwork, leadership and organization while having fun building projects.
Ashlyn: When I heard about Toolbox coming to Hillside I was eager to get involved! I am a staff member at Mount Pisgah in the Children’s Ministry and hearing about how Toolbox not only teaches kids practical skills, but also character-building skills like teamwork and initiative, I was all in. I have worked with students K-12th in public school settings and after school programs. I have seen the overall difference in how a student carries themselves with confidence from being involved in an extracurricular activity that teaches them life skills.
Jim: I came by my interest in woodworking and construction naturally. From Jr. High through graduate school, I worked on nearly all aspects of home building including masonry, electrical, plumbing, rough and finish carpentry, drywall, roofing, painting and cabinet building. While I did not pursue the Trades as a profession, I have continued on as a hobbyist building everything from toys to furniture to a sailboat. For several years I have been blessed to build homes for some great families while serving in the Habitat for Humanity Mission at Mt Pisgah. I feel that it can be extremely useful for a student to learn basic building skills in a safe and proper environment. These are skills that they will find very useful throughout their life in addition to the satisfaction that comes from building something with their own hands.