Like most young adults, Tony has worked very hard at a lot of different things.
He joined the military as a mechanic, studied to become a musician, worked for a pharmaceutical company, and drove for Lyft—and that’s just a quick summary.
Tony is a bright, funny, passionate young man who wanted to build his career. His first move was to look back to his roots for inspiration. He says, “I tried to find out what actually moved me. So, I took myself away from my phone, my laptop, and my truck, and I spent some time just thinking about what I want in life.”
Tony’s parents renovated homes professionally throughout his childhood. He realized, “I have some construction knowledge from my family, but I’m not yet developed.” Tucson is where Tony’s family is, and family is one of his deepest values. He wanted to stay close to home while he looked for opportunities to gain construction experience.
Tony decided to go back to school at Pima Community College to study Building and Construction Technology. Then, one of his instructors told him about an AmeriCorps opportunity with Habitat Tucson. He could build experience for his construction career and earn an educational stipend from AmeriCorps to finance his degree. Tony has now been working with Habitat Tucson since August 2022.
Habitat Tucson’s educational opportunities are empowering Tony to establish his career locally.
Tony says, “I want to be a construction manager for environmentally responsible building projects, and Habitat helps me understand how things are built properly. I can see my colleagues and my supervisors, and how they handle themselves professionally. That’s where I want to be within the next 5 to 10 years. So, I try to absorb as much as I can learn.”
And it’s not just technical skills that Tony is learning. He says, “I focus on improving my leadership so that we get the job done as a team. Habitat gives me an opportunity to work with experts and volunteers who might not know anything about the process. I can learn from staff members and learn through teaching volunteers.”
“Everyone at Habitat has such a compassionate view towards expanding skills. And I love the mission, how active our mission statement is. We really are building a more just and compassionate world.”
Pima Community College collaborates with Habitat Tucson to build skills, homes, and community throughout Southern Arizona.