TOH Apprentice
Photo: Russell Kaye
Laura Cyr, 16
Specialty: Carpentry
Working with: TOH master carpenter Norm Abram
Hopes to: Start her own contracting company after getting a business degree in college.
To coincide with the show's 25th-anniversary celebration this year, This Old House is taking on another role—providing field study in the trades. The TOH crew has chosen four paid apprentices from the Minuteman School of Applied Arts and Sciences, a public regional high school in nearby Lexington, Mass., for a crash course in homebuilding—and a chance to learn from the best. After spending the summer working with Norm, Tom, Richard, and Roger, the students will be a big step closer to professional careers. That's also great news to the TV show guys, who have witnessed a dwindling interest in the trades among the younger generation. "We're hoping this will get more kids to realize how rewarding this work really is," says Richard.

But the Carlisle apprenticeship program is only the first part of a TOH educational initiative. The second part is a scholarship endowment funded by the sale of the Carlisle house, which will be administered by the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The permanent scholarship will be named to honor TOH's creative director and founder, Russell Morash. The plan calls for awarding $2,000 scholarships annually to at least eight students from community and technical colleges around the country. Students will be nominated by their schools.

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