Reading, Writing and Welding
Miracle Farm kicked off the summer school session this year with a brand new Industrial Arts Program.
The program includes training in both welding and woodworking in Miracle Farm’s state-of-the-art metal and woodworking shops and provides junior high and high school credit for the young men who call the Farm home.
The shops have been used by staff and boys for several years for regular Farm projects, but now the Farm’s school program has approved their use for formal instruction.
“The new program is just another opportunity for our staff to work one-on-one with the boys, offering life mentoring as they labor side by side,” said Miracle Farm Executive Director Alex Hamilton.
Caty Paben, principal and lead instructor for Miracle Farm’s public charter school program, will oversee the new Industrial Arts Program. Ranch manager and welder Mike Gallaway teaches welding, while facilities maintenance manager and carpenter Dean Forland leads the woodworking program.
“The Industrial Arts Program benefits the boys by giving them a small taste of what career opportunities are out there. It also takes what we teach in science and math classes and makes it applicable to real life situations,” said Paben.
Long-time donor and Miracle Farm Trustee Mike Aldredge also played a huge role in developing the woodworking shop at Miracle Farm by providing funding for both the construction and equipment. As the former CEO of industrial company Puffer-Sweiven Inc., his desire is to train Miracle Farm residents in skills that will equip them for life and prepare them for their future careers.
“The woodworking shop will not only provide these boys with a possible career, but will give them a hobby for a lifetime, teaching them to do quality work and patience to pay attention to detail,” said Aldredge. “I can think of no better place to spend money than helping the youth out at Miracle Farm.”
Funding from Houston’s Second Baptist Church also contributed to the building of the welding shop at Miracle Farm through the church’s World Mission Offering.
“The Industrial Arts Program has truly been a team effort, with both Miracle Farm staff and donors pooling their time, talent and resources to get the program started,” said Hamilton. “My dream is that we will find individuals who will want to endow this program. Their investment would provide lasting dividends in the lives of our boys.”
Miracle Farm continues to implement innovative measures such as the Industrial Arts Program in order to teach the youth how to become responsible young men of integrity and character. It continues to be a place where men of self-esteem and honor are made.