What We Do

Kids Making It is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth program, teaching woodworking, life and entrepreneurial skills to at-risk youth from age 8 into young adulthood. Our goal is for our KMI youth to stay out of trouble, stay in school, graduate and go on to the workforce or college, thereby maturing into successful adults.  Through the design/build process, KMI youth learn patience, pride, perseverance, confidence, teamwork and self-esteem, building character and learning the truth of actions and consequences.

Student Paul and volunteer Preston work together on a project in the shop.

Student Paul and volunteer Preston work together on a project in the shop.

In our Introductory Woodworking Classes, pre-teens learn basic pre-vocational skills and use hand-tools to build a project they can take home. We offer classes in our downtown Wilmington woodworking shop as well as at the Pender County elementary schools in partnership with the YMCA. Kids experience hands-on application of fractions, geometry and engineering through the measurement, layout and construction of projects such as: go-karts, bird houses, plant boxes, and shelves.

In our core Teen After School Program, we teach employable vocational skills in our woodworking and retail shop on the riverfront in downtown Wilmington. Working in a strong mentoring environment (3:1 youth/mentor ratio), KMI teens learn to create a variety of products that they may sell in our retail shop; they earn 100% of the profits on all sales.  This micro-enterprise offers at-risk teens long-term mentorship, vocational instruction, income, and entrepreneurial experience.


Along with job placement and college admissions assistance, our Social Worker provides our youth with Individual Developmental Plans as well as youth/family counseling and support.

In our KMI Apprenticeship Program, we provide part-time work for some of our older youth to complete larger custom orders for the general public. To fulfill these larger orders, Apprentices receive training on three high-technology production machines:  the CNC Router (CAD design), Laser Engraver, and Hydraulic Copy Lathe. For many of our apprentices, this is their first real job, providing them with a solid work reference for future employment. As an apprentice, they are held to workplace standards regarding work ethic, scheduling and quality control.  Since the launch of the program, many of our apprentices have enrolled in college or made the transition into private sector work.

Visit our Get Involved page to learn more about how you can help Kids Making It continue to grow.

Looking for more info? Check out our Contact page for ways to reach us or visit our social media sites.

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