Wayne R. Dawkins’ Journey in the Dark

While working on a construction site in Kingston, Jamaica on October 2013, Wayne Dawkins began to experience an inexplicable dimming in his vision. In the short time it took him to put down his skill saw and walk towards a nearby window, his vision had deteriorated dramatically, resulting in a trip to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having a stroke in his eyes due to glaucoma. After multiple procedures, including laser surgery, stem cell implants and retina attachment surgery, he was forced to accept that he would slowly, but inevitably, lose his vision completely.

Wayne was hard-working since age eleven and had become accustomed to and enjoyed working long, full days with his hands. Straight out of high school, he apprenticed in carpentry until, eventually, he ventured on his own. He built his own construction company from the ground up, often working from sunrise to sunset. He has over twenty years of work experience in the field of building construction and carpentry.

The news that his life would now be mostly sedentary was devastating and unacceptable to him. Although he lost his sight, he did not lose his courage, his positivity, nor his passion for working with wood. Unwilling to accept an unproductive life, he began manipulating reclaimed wood and recycled materials, creating and sculpting awe-inspiring works of art.

On September 14, 2018, he enrolled in an Instructor Certification Training Program with NCCER (formerly The National Center for Construction Education and Research) with the anticipation to equip himself for a transition into a new world of work. Upon successful completion, he was awarded NCCER certifications as a Craft Instructor in Carpentry and Core, Curriculum Proctor, Curriculum Performance Evaluator for Carpentry and Core. Today, he is not only a praiseworthy artist/craftsman, but also an admirable mentor, coach and instructor to at-risk youths. He has become an inspiring role-model and volunteer to students at Miami-Dade AMI Kids enrolled in NCCER Construction classes since November 2017 to present.