Inspired by the birth of his son, Jimmy Pierce started Kids Making It as a volunteer effort in 1994; he was then practicing law full time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1996, Jimmy left the practice of law to move his family back home to North Carolina and devote himself to developing KMI full-time. Beginning with a volunteer pilot project in the Jervay public housing neighborhood in 1997, KMI has since taught woodworking and life skills to over 5,000 at-risk youth. Kids can attend Kids Making It for as long as they wish; we tell them we are there for them for the long haul, to do whatever we can to help to empower them to stay in school, graduate, and go on to college or the workforce. KMI now serves >500 youth annually, from 7 – early adulthood, in five programs: Introductory Woodworking (hand-tools classes); After-school program (teens make and sell handcrafted products, earning 100% of their sales profits); Summer Jobs program (partnering with the BRC); Apprentice program (older transitioning youth are employed to complete custom production orders for the public); and the new Skilled Trades program (teaching the construction trades to older youth, with job placement assistance).