Hub City Ink wins $10,000 to expand vocational program for people with disabilities

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Hub City Ink just won a $10,000 scholarship from STAHLS’ to boost its mission of helping people with disabilities stay independent.

The shop produces apparel and provides graphic design services, but mostly serves as one of the vocational programs at LIFE Inc., a non-profit center for independent living. It serves individuals with disabilities in Lubbock and surrounding counties.

Lead graphic designer Jared Kendall teaches design skills to those who are learning to live with a disability. He says they don’t always have the resources or opportunities to work in this industry, so the program aims to teach them the skills to create their own business from home.

This gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to step into that industry and even do it from home, when they need to stop and make a t-shirt and then take a break. So, it gives them the opportunity to be more independent, not just in their normal life, but in creating their own at-home business,” Kendall said.

Kendall has dyslexia and says he struggled with many things during college because he didn’t have the resources he needed. He says art helped him through that, and he became passionate about helping other people in a similar situation. After getting a degree in graphic design, he helped create the Hub City Ink program. At a conference, he heard about the Stahl Family Small Business Scholarship, and decided to apply.

“I actually did the application on my phone when I was there, right then and just went through the process of filling out everything and kind of forgot about it because I didn’t think it would actually happen,” Kendall said. “And then I got an e-mail and so I was super excited about this.”

The quarterly shop makeover scholarship was created to help business owners take their business to the next level. The possibilities are exciting for Lubbock native Camille Carl, one of Kendall’s students.

“I’ve been involved with them since they started. Just learning different aspects of graphic design, wanting to just know more about it and coming here has kind of pushed the envelope a lot,” Carl said. “It’s awesome because I’m able to get a hands on feel of what it is to design a shirt, and that’s something that I really wanted to do.”

It’s her dream to turn that interest into a business she can run from home. Carl is a mother of five, with eight grandchildren.

“They’re my joy. They’re my everything and just being able to do things for them is just what I love to do,” she said.

Carl was taking pre-nursing classes, but she had to switch gears in 2012, when she was hit by an 18-wheeler and thrown from the vehicle. She says she loves learning new things, and the money from the scholarship will help provide new equipment to keep doing that. Kendall calls the scholarship a ‘dream come true.’

“It’s not only going to just help us move forward, but it’s going to give us lots of opportunity to help our community and help people with disabilities worldwide,” Kendall said. “Because we’re going to be able to expand and use our program as a model for Centers for Independent Living all over the states, and so we’re super excited about the possibilities of what it can do for us.”

Kendall says six students are taking the next round of classes in September. People with disabilities can learn more and sign up for the program at the Hub City Ink website. Lubbock businesses can also become community partners to help support the program and LIFE Inc.

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