Tom’s Success Story
Tom came to Flinthills as a young man, after difficult childhood which included numerous foster placements. Feelings of insecurity colored his view of himself and the world around him. It was hard to find anything of real interest to Tom and he became bored, frustrated and at times, angry.
Eventually we discovered that Tom was an aspiring jewelry artist; his passion for jewelry making beginning in high school where he took a couple of jewelry making classes. After high school he dabbled in in other mediums, often creating jewelry out of recycled materials like computer parts and greeting cards, as well as incorporating other client art cast in resin pieces that he would then sell to the public. He enjoyed doing bead work, and began learning introductory metalsmithing with a friend at Flinthills Services.
In 2018, a staff member helped Tom respond to a Facebook metalsmithing group. It was through this Facebook group, that Tom was connected with his new friend and mentor, Debbie, a jewelry artisan in Clermont, Florida. When she learned of Tom and his love for jewelry, she wanted to send him some supplies to get him started and to foster his passion for creating wearable art. Debbie would spend countless hours giving advice and education on various jewelry, metalsmithing, and metal clay techniques. She provided him with the means to really expand and grow his own jewelry design, so much so in that he was actually commissioned to do a piece for Miss Kansas for her Miss America competition late 2019.
Tom and Debbie’s friendship continues to grow through texts, emails and Facetime visits. Last year, Tom was able to go to Florida for his 30th birthday and meet this wonderful lady in person! Tom and Debbie have formed a truly unique and beautiful friendship; one that has given Tom a feeling of acceptance and self-worth. We can’t wait to see where Tom’s creativity will take him in the future!