YouthBuild Member Profile
A Day in the Life of Shamirre Byrd Sr.
Single father of 2/Age: 22
Welcome to our YouthBuild Member profiles, in which our YouthBuild members capture a day in their lives.
I start my day around 6:45, I get up and shower. I take a few minutes, stare in the mirror and motivate myself with positive messaging. I remind myself of a part of our pledge; that I need to “get up, dress up, and show up today.” I have really been going through some challenges and I have been feeling more and more discouraged lately.
I then get my children up and dressed, my son is four and my daughter is 2. Then I wake my brothers up for school, they are 16 and nine. I fix us all breakfast and make the coffee which usually wakes up my mom. She watches my daughter during the day.
I wait for my youngest brother’s bus before I can leave, which usually comes at 7:45am. My son and I usually try to take the city bus, but today I missed it, because my brother’s bus was late, so I walked my son to preschool, at School 2. That’s about a two mile walk which isn’t bad, except for when it’s super cold (like today) or it’s raining hard.
I get to program a little late today because of the transportation challenges, and I sign in and apologize to my team for being late to our morning circle. This is an important time of the day to me because we always have a daily quote which is something empowering. It gives me the chance to reflect on something positive and we take turns relating it to our lives and how we interpret our understanding. After announcements and a quick review of the schedule, we recite the YouthBuild Pledge and then I gather with the rest of the people on my team to head to the construction site.
We are partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the Capital Region to work on a couple homes in Troy. Right now we are working on insulating a home and putting up drywall. I enjoy doing construction. It is a good way for me to get out stress, do things that are hands on and learn important skills in the process. I am gaining knowledge of the construction trade which is actually a career field of interest.
The trainer teaches us how to do the work first thing in the morning and then we apply what we learned later on when we are put to the test of actually applying what we learned while working as a team. We usually stop and eat lunch around noon and then get back to work. We clean up the job site before we leave and then return to program for close out.
At close out we recap the day with “appreciations and acknowledgements,” and close out with the AmeriCorps Pledge. Sometimes I have to leave early to pick up my son from school by 2pm. Program doesn’t end until 3:30, so this can be a bit stressful. I am working on getting him into an afterschool programing, but I would have to pay $50 a week, and I just don’t have that right now.
After I pick up my son, we walk home, and I cook dinner. Tonight, I made Shepard’s Pie. My son always asks about his mom at dinner. A year ago, she left and hasn’t been back. I know they miss her. (I think being a mom was just too much for her. Last I heard she was in Florida.) I never know what to tell him. I’m going to make it work though, I have to… for them. Then we all sit down and watch “Thor Ragnarok,” they fell asleep halfway through the movie and I put my daughter in her bed and make a pad on the floor for my son and me. We all share a room. I am hoping to have my own place soon. Getting my own home is part of my motivation to get up every day and work on making a better life for myself by coming to YouthBuild. I see myself living in the country someday and running my own business. I want to start my own clothing line someday, called “We’re all United.”
I have a lot of anxiety that I deal with daily. I always worry about not being good enough. I want to achieve so much. People always say they see so much potential in me, but I fear I may not be able to deliver on all I want to do. YouthBuild helped me with my confidence because they taught me how to step out of my comfort zone. How to not over think things, but rather start working towards my goals.