The first 3 brake replacements had gone smoothly and the mechanic and youth mechanic were feeling confident.
But that was 2 hours ago.
It was getting late and things were looking worse with every passing minute. Our mechanic, Jason, was on his haunches examining the brake for his sixth time and the youth was pacing around the shop dying for a smoke. A few steps away stood the customer looking perplexed and understandably growing impatient.
I have learned that this is where the rubber meets the road - or at least that was what we were hoping for. People’s true character comes out in times when things are looking bleak and those around you are growing impatient. Patience in problem solving is a trait that many youth learn to develop, but just as many do not if they don't have someone to show them how.
So in that cold garage, as Jason sat working and re-working the problem, Levi was learning a valuable lesson watching a mature volunteer demonstrate great attitude, patience and perseverance when it would have been easier to quit in frustration. On the drive home that evening, hours past our usual ending time, the youth and I discussed what we had just witnessed and how these situations play out in our own lives when things get tough.
Our volunteers are building character as much as they are building valuable mechanical skills. I have now seen many of our youth approach challenges under the hood with more determination as they wrestle the car parts into place until everything is put right. I am thankful for our volunteers and “customers” who entrust their vehicles to us and in turn are building a young generation.