We recently sat down with Ariel, one of the youth staff at Detail Works, Spectrum’s car detailing business. Here is Ariel’s story:
“I came from family that wasn’t exactly the smartest or the nicest. No matter where you come from or what you have experienced—good or bad—it all adds up and you just grow from it. You can’t let it tear you down, even if you don’t have parents. That’s what I’m trying to do.
I used to live at my grandmother’s and then an opportunity fell in my lap and I was able to rent a room. That’s where I got my stable living situation. Living on my own has shown me what I can really do. I’m learning about myself every day, just like in this job. I love this job.
I didn’t really have much of a mother growing up and my dad wasn’t around, but I don’t need my parents. I’ve been through the court system. I was abused in many different ways—physical, emotional, and verbal.
I now have some mental health problems. When I was younger, they got in the way a lot. Now I’m realizing that things can be much different. I like ‘me’ now compared to my past ‘me.’
A Life that I Want
I found this job because my cousin was working
at Detail Works and she told me about it. Detailing cars seemed easy to me. You know, I’m very good at cleaning. So I called them and asked if there was an open position and—BAM —I was in!
Detailing was difficult at first, things are usually difficult in the beginning, right? But as I started coming here every day, doing the work, and learning new things, I just started to get it.
Before I came to Detail Works, I used to be a cashier. I had a lot of different jobs, actually. This is the longest I’ve ever had a job.
In three months after working here, I had gotten two promotions and became a trainer. I like managing people around my age. I know some things that they don’t know, and I can teach them and offer them advice.
I also really like the learning process. I’ve learned how to do headlight restoration, use the buffer, to wax, and I’ve learned how to use lacquer thinner which takes tree sap off the outside of the car.
All of the other jobs I’ve had got me to where I am today, but the difference between all of my other jobs and working at Detail Works is the way that we are treated here.
I’m just proud that I get my butt out of bed every day. I came to work today and continue to do that every day of the week. It is the beginning of everything. You have to take a step forward in order to keep walking.
It is the workers that make Detail Works special. We’ve all had hard times, but because of Spectrum and the Drop-In Center and Detail Works we’re able to learn and grow. They’re teaching us what we need to know so we have the skills for our future. We’re stronger and better because of it.
Life is hard. It’s going to throw stuff at you, but it’s what you do with that stuff that matters—and how you do it.”