Friday Mar 10th, 2017
In 2010 Darian Boone stopped going to school at Merganthaler Vocational – Technical High School (Mervo) for a variety of reasons; Mervo just wasn’t a good match for him. Darian spent several years trying to get back into a Baltimore City public school until he became too old to enroll.
During those years Darian was employed most of the time, working in restaurants and as a banquet server for Centerplate at the Baltimore Convention Center. Then he realized, “I need more of an education to advance my pay rate; I need to get motivated.”
Because Darian was now 21 years old, he was referred to the Westside Youth Opportunity (YO) Center operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. He would spend a year at the YO Center taking advantage of all of the resources and services he could. He was accepted into the Construct a Difference (CAD) program where he learned carpentry skills, while continuing to earn his high school diploma. CAD also taught financial literacy that included an introduction to the stock market and the purchase of shares of stock. “I now own a tiny piece of the market and I can check online to see how it’s doing, which is pretty cool,” Darian said.
“I received way more than just the minimal credits I needed to graduate. The YO Center helped me get a variety of things accomplished for myself. I did a lot of soul-searching, trying to figure things out. And I read a lot of books,” Darian shared.
At the CAD graduation, he met Dave Carter, a supervisor with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. “Mr. Carter gave me an application and told me to call him. I considered Mr. Carter a resource and an opening into a possible job with the city,” Darian stated.
Outcomes & Benefits
There wasn’t a job opening until about six months later when on November 1, 2016 Darian was hired in the maintenance department as a Community Aide. “This is a great beginning and soon I want to get my commercial driver’s license. I have to hold my provisional for two years before I can apply for the CDL,” Darian explained.
Darian is motivated to succeed. “I am intellectually stimulated and I want to absorb all that I am capable of observing. I have multiple fields of interest from astrology to physics,” Darian said. He plans to go to Baltimore City Community College to major in engineering and added, “I see myself in five years as financially stable, owning a house and a car and maybe being in the sand or on a beach somewhere. My advice to others is that in order to succeed, you must first find your gift and learn how to apply it for spiritual benefit. For now I’d like to stay with the city as long as it is advantageous to me.”