In 2005, Aaron Frumin dropped out of college to respond to Hurricane Katrina with the Red Cross. Later that year, he took his first job in construction as the least skilled worker at a day labor company in the Reno-Tahoe Area. On the worksite, Aaron found himself profoundly surprised and rewarded by the mental and physical rigor and satisfaction of a hard day's work. So, when he joined AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) the following year, he was excited to sharpen his skills and apply them to a positive impact in the recovery effort across the Gulf Coast. He went on to lead community volunteers, AmeriCorps, and partner families in the rebuilding effort for the next three years as a House Leader with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, where he loved teaching people new skills through a shared and empowering experience. After these rewarding experiences, Aaron went back to school and earned his degree at Tulane University before spending three years as a middle school reading and social studies teacher through Teach for America in Colorado.
Through his journey, Aaron learned valuable lessons about teamwork and selflessness. He also discovered how strong a collective impact could be and developed a more personal understanding of the deeply rooted problems facing our communities.
Today, Aaron is the Founder and Executive Director of unCommon Construction - a New Orleans-based nonprofit that uses the build process to empower youth to lead the workforce after high school or college. Through unCommon Construction's apprenticeship program, high school students apply to join a diverse team to earn hourly pay and school credit for building a house in a semester. With the revenue from each project, unCommon Construction matches apprentices' paychecks with an Equity Award Scholarship, which they can use for further education, industry certifications, or the tools needed for a full-time job. Since its founding, unCommon Construction has partnered with seven high schools, building homes and other projects in 15 semesters, hired more than 140 students and paid them more than $200,000 in earnings and scholarships.
In all, Aaron's most proud that he hasn't paid for a haircut in more than 15 years.
To learn more and get involved, visit www.uncommonconstruction.org and follow the nonprofit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@uCCNOLA).