Recently I was lucky enough to give a speech to a group of teenagers. I was told that these kids were considered “at-risk youth” because they had poor grades and behavioral problems. More to the point, these kids were not college material, and thought they had no future. Schools are terrible for making kids think that going to college is the only way to have a bright future, I think that is BS. I am living proof – I barely graduated from high school, and never took one college class, and yet I own my own business, my own house, and make a great living. As a roofing contractor, I will be able to send my own children to college one day… if that is what they want to do. Learning a trade and becoming skilled at roofing was more valuable to me than any university. This is what I wanted to impart to these so-called “at risk” teens, because the guidance counselor will never tell them to try a career in roofing. Of course I encouraged them to seek out any trade, including HVAC repair, plumbing, carpentry, and more, but since my own personal experience was in roofing that was my focus. I handed out several business cards for my roofing company, to encourage these teens to call me and start their own careers. I had to explain that roofing is a very difficult job, much harder than flipping burgers, but that it paid remarkably well for the people who could handle it. I hope I reached some of these kids and made a difference.