“Everything I make looks like it was made by a kindergartner,” Marlon said last fall, practically in tears, and on the verge of destroying a plane he was making. I counseled Marlon off the edge, assuring him that he’s only 10, and doing quality work for a 10-year-old. While Marlon relaxed, he wasn’t overjoyed. Jump ahead several months and Marlon is a new man. Just the other day he sauntered up with a big smile and said, “Steve, I like what I make…and I am getting good grades in school.”

Marlon is part of a cohort – Talitha, Deshawn, T, Everitt, Ercy, Faith, JZ, and more – of neighborhood children who find refuge and opportunity at FabNewport. “FabNewport is a safe place,” according to Board Chair, Stephen Licht, “to experience new things.” We need to build on this concept. You see the Marlon-effect also with the Met students who show up for their workshops twice weekly. They are a diverse bunch of artists, designers, engineers and geeks, and most with little technical experience, but they to find solace and opportunity in the relaxed workshop setting. What more can we do to provide opportunities for youth to blossom?