“I just wanted to teach them something that I knew.” Danville’s Project Imagine graduate hosts workshop

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 11:25 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Taking his passion for shoes and passing it on, Chaquan Wilson is hosting his first event at the Danville Library. It’s a workshop on customizing sneakers.

“I just wanted to teach them something that I knew, something like if they want to start their own business doing it, they can make some money doing that too,” said Wilson.

Teaching in front of a room is something Wilson never thought he’d do.

“At first, I wasn’t a big people person,” he said.

That was until he joined Project Imagine, a nationally-recognized program that takes teens at risk of falling into gangs and leads them to jobs and careers.

Danville Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator Robert David says Wilson is a model of what the program is about.

“He believes that he has the opportunity to do greater things, he believes that the life he was in with gang-related activity was such a small aspect of life and now it’s much bigger,” said David.

Wilson is finishing his time working at the library and has a full-time job in plumbing lined up.

Wilson’s grown from a 17-year-old trying out what he thought was just another pointless program to a 20-year-old man living with a purpose.

“In the long run I want to do something with shoes and still stick to that but for now it’s just keep a job, keep working, keep the income coming in.”

Designing his own path to success.

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