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My Brother's Workshop to Host Symposium Thursday

My Brother’s Workshop will hold an informational symposium Thursday at Antilles School, showcasing its program and some of its success stories for local businesses and residents.

In less than three years, the My Brother’s Workshop program has built up its ranks on St. Thomas, pulling young men off the streets and into the vocational classroom in hopes of giving them the opportunity for a brighter future.

Run with the St. Thomas Reformed Church by Scott Bradley, a retired industrial engineer, the program has offered its participants training in plumbing, electrical and construction work, along with lessons in the life skills they’ll need while on the job, or interacting with their family and friends.

The workshop is staffed by retired professionals and volunteer tradesean from the community, and is funded in large part through paid work projects, which are completed by the program’s participants. Bradley has kept his crew active on a number of activities, including volunteer work for schools and community centers that ranges from refurbishing buildings in the Garden Street area on St. Thomas to building life-size wooden menorahs for the Hebrew Congregation’s annual Hannukah celebrations.

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Since he started, Bradley has been advocating for community groups and local businesses to show their support, particularly by getting participants involved in projects where they can put their skills to good use.

Those interested in helping out can learn more during the symposium from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Prior-Jolleck Hall at Antilles School. The symposium was organized by the St. Thomas Club of Rotary Sunrise, which has been active with My Brother’s Workshop over the past year and has been trying to raise awareness about local programs that give youngsters an alternative to violence.

"We’re trying to get people who don’t know about us yet to come out and learn more, whether it’s local businesses or the general public who might want to volunteer," Bradley said.

Attendees will have the opportunity to talk to some of the program’s participants, listen to their stories and watch a slide show about what the program has accomplished over the past year and a half.

For more information, contact Rotary Sunrise President Kathrynne Green at 774-4343.

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