Mike Rowe’s ‘Returning the Favor’ to Project JumpStart

Ally D'Ovidio

‘A man afraid to work is a man afraid to live,’ Antoine Boykins, Project JumpStart graduate tells Mike Rowe. Boykins, a former student of ABC Baltimore’s pre-apprenticeship program, Project JumpStart, and current supervisor with Scaffold Resource, is just one of the program’s many success stories. The program, which combines soft skills, job-readiness, and construction training into 14 weeks for low-income Baltimore city residents, is the focus of Rowe’s Facebook web TV series, ‘Returning the Favor.’

Rowe, the former host of Discovery Channel’s ‘Dirty Jobs,’ is using his new platform and new mission to give back to those who are making a difference in their respective communities.

In the episode, Rowe returns to his hometown of Baltimore to surprise the Project JumpStart team with a special gift. But first, Rowe meets with Jack Diehl, long-time Project JumpStart instructor, Kate McShane, Project JumpStart job placement director and several Project JumpStart graduates to discuss how the program has positively impacted their lives.

During the piece, Rowe and McShane discuss the importance of exposure and funding for the program, and Rowe announces he’ll be filming varied-length public service announcements for Project JumpStart to use as a promotional tool.

To give back to the program, Mike Rowe recorded two promotional spots for Project JumpStart to use, a $20,000 check to start a media fund and the help of a local ad agency to leverage their own buying power to, in effect, triple that investment in buying power. In addition, the program was presented with a check for $10,000 to be used to facilitate the removal of barriers that may prevent a student from being job-ready and successful in their new career path.

Watch the full video here.

We are so grateful for the help and generosity of Mike Rowe and his foundation, mikeroweWORKS.