GoMAD is a 19 week program that targets 18 - 24 year olds. Participants spend 20 hours a week learning building construction skills and various academic subjects. There is a $200 a week stipend for scholars' commitment to the program.


MAD in GoMAD stands for make a difference in self, family, community, and society.

GO MAD Graduation-37 (3)_edited.jpg

The 2018 graduating class of GoMAD.

Marlon Mitchell

Marlon is the founder and Director of Programs & Services at FirstFollowers Reentry. He is a longtime resident of Champaign County and is committed to the work that advocates for access, opportunity, and resources for those individuals who have been affected by the criminal justice system.

Training and Workshops

GO MAD Graduation-22_edited.jpg
Annegien Zuidema

Annegien has been working in construction as a carpenter since the early 90’s. She started out with  a boat building apprenticeship in Maine but transitioned into carpentry. She enjoys house building because everyone needs shelter, and everyone takes their home personally. Annegien feels that she can connect in a deep way to a community by helping people create their best home. She also believes the trades have a lot of opportunities to make a decent, honorable living in any community, and that carpentry is a good window to explore that world. Annegien says, "I am privileged to work with First Followers to help these fine young men learn to find their way."

Building Construction

Grace Walworth

Grace is a local community member with a passion for nature and sustainability.  She will be facilitating sessions on sustainability efforts, including waste management, green buildings, composting, gardening, and more!  Go MAD students will design, build, and plant a garden at the house remodeling site. 

Urban Gardening