Crafting one’s passion

Victor Duran

Playing videogames and collecting baseball cards are a couple teenage hobbies, but unlike most teenagers junior Anthony Ferrini II is utilizing his passion for carpentry to renovate Debra Lizardi’s cooking stations for her culinary arts class.

Finding something you love doing and making it into a career is a dream for many. As for Anthony Ferrini II, more commonly know as AJ, he hopes to make his passion for carpentry his life’s work.

Ferrini comes from a line of family who “work with their hands”. His grandfather was a sheet metal worker, his father a mechanic, and now Ferrini with acquired knowledge from his predecessors, takes on the family tradition with aspirations of becoming a construction auto-motivator or a carpentry technician.

Ferrini is currently taking Vincent Appel’s woodshop class.

“The class is a great way to pick up new skills and put them to use,” Ferrini says.

In early November, Ferrini took on a project that would test his carpentry skills. Knowledgeable of Appel’s prestigious expertise, consumer science teacher, Debra Lizardi asked if one of his students was interested in remodeling her outdated cooking stations, with tarnished cupboards and drawers for her culinary arts class. Of course, Ferrini jumped at the opportunity.

“I really wanted to get some experience in the remodeling area, and this was a perfect chance for me to do it,” Ferrini said.

Ferrini’s initial job was to renovate only one cooking station, but the five other stations needed just as much work. Ferrini decided to take on the challenge. But he did not do it alone. Ferrini asked his woodshop classmate, sophomore Andrew Lima to assist him in his task.

“I picked him because I trusted him more than anyone else in the class,” Ferrini said. “I am teaching myself while teaching him at the same time; it’s really a learning experience for the both of us.”

Ferrini and Lima took methodical steps into completing each station: first they took the cupboard doors off, unhinged them, and then they painted down the handles, followed by a long and tedious period of sanding the cupboards down to make it easier to apply fresh paint. The cupboards where then painted with two coats of walnut, and the drawers were painted to match the countertop.

“AJ is a very friendly, positive, hard working person with high standards,” Lizardi said. “He is a pleasure to be around; I would hire him to work in my own home.”

Ferrini says that his relationship with Lima has gotten stronger by working on the renovating project together.

“AJ is a smart guy, he never complains, and stays focused on his work,” Lima said. “He’s easy to work with and I guess I can say there’s never a dull moment because there’s always work to do.”

Though Ferrini and Lima share a passion for carpentry, they have put their time and effort back into the school to create a comfortable environment for their peers who share different interests.

Ferrini and Lima have already completed four stations and hope to finish the last two by the end of the school year.

“Each station brings a new challenge to me,” Ferrini says.

And many more challenges are ahead of this aspiring young carpenter. But where there is passion, success is surely to happen.