Project Bootstrap: Helping young men survive and thrive

A program at the Baylor Teen Health Clinic offers young men another chance when they think they’re all out of chances. At least that’s the perspective of David Guzman, a young Houston father who has turned his life around with the help of the clinic’s Project Bootstrap.

David Guzman
David Guzman

Project Bootstrap provides young fathers a stipend to support educational opportunities and job training with the goal of securing employment so they can take care of themselves and their families.

Kicked out of high school due to behavioral and truancy issues, David was referred to Project Bootstrap by the school’s truancy officer. Having a young daughter to provide for took a toll on David’s time, and working odd jobs on the Houston Ship Channel to earn money meant even more school absences.

Once enrolled in Project Bootstrap, he began a home school program and earned his high school diploma – the first of his family in two generations to achieve this milestone.

With diploma in hand, David began looking for a steady job. More money was needed as his family grew with the birth of his second daughter. But with his history of behavioral problems, finding employment was proving difficult.

David worked with Ozie Wilhite, a social worker at the Baylor Teen Health Clinic, to explore other opportunities. They capitalized on David’s entrepreneurial spirit, and he completed the necessary coursework to obtain a business license so he could start a car detailing company. David devotes every Friday to car detailing and is now also working full-time at a furniture store.

His success has been an inspiration to his family, especially his older sister, who was motivated by David to complete her high school diploma. David credits Project Bootstrap with enabling him to turn his life around and make it better for himself and his family.

See more information about Project Bootstrap and other programs of the Baylor Teen Health Clinic.

-By Dana Benson

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