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Meet Our Jamestown Generation NEXT Apprentices, Mary and Kevin

Mary McGuire Smith and Kevin Barker applied to our Generation NEXT Casting Call and nailed it! You'll see them on the 40th-anniversary season of This Old House on PBS

March 15, 2018

We opened our second Generation NEXT casting call earlier this February in search of two apprentices for our next This Old House project in Jamestown, Rhode Island. And the search is over! Kevin Barker, local to Jamestown, will be joining Mary McGuire Smith of Tupelo, Mississippi, to work with the TOH master crew.

Through our Generation NEXT program, we want to encourage young people to become masters in the vocational trades. Last summer, our first three Generation NEXT apprentices – Bailey Beers, Nathan Gilbert, and Austin Wilson – worked on our most-recent house project in Newton, Massachusetts, where they improved their craftsmanship and showcased their works for the TOH audience. This year, we’ll have Mary and Kevin in Jamestown and are still looking for two more apprentices to join us later this summer in Boston (apply through May 4!).

Mary and Kevin began at the jobsite today! You can watch the Jamestown crew work on our exterior Webcam. (Interior and Action Webcams are available to Insiders only.)

Watch the Audition Tapes

A few years ago, Mary McGuire Smith bought a home in Tupelo, Mississippi, to gain skills in framing, flooring, tiling, and other construction projects. Until this year, the 31-year-old owned and operated a custom-cakes shop, but now after selling the successful business, she’s able to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time general contractor. Equipped with personal experience and know-how from custom homebuilding and timber framing courses, Mary is ready to refine her skillset with This Old House. Hit play on her audition tape above to see the remodeling she’s done on her home, find out where she got her inspiration to pursue the trades, and learn more about her hometown.

Kevin Barker has been working in residential construction and renovation for about six years. The 29-year-old deployed with the Marine Corps in 2010 and 2011, and then began working with Beasley Woodworks in southern Rhode Island to gain experience in framing, roofing, windows and doors, siding, decking, and flooring, as well as finish work, his primary interest. He’s excited to bring an efficiency and passion to the jobsite while restoring old houses with the This Old House crew. Learn more about Kevin by hitting play on his audition video above!