Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daniel Sinko, a portrait

07.12.10_DanSinko, Neighbors

Photograph and article by Jake May (Jackson Citizen Patriot)

Daniel Sinko has been looking for work since he earned his GED three years ago.

Sinko graduated at age 17 from the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy in Battle Creek, where his parents sent him to straighten up in high school. He's even completed culinary school.

Still, the 20-year-old Grass Lake resident relies on temporary and "odds and ends" jobs to make ends meet.

"I can't find a real decent job. For me, it just seems like they aren't out there," he said. "I've straightened my act up and stopped acting stupid. That was years ago. I'm trying to do better for myself. I want a job."

That call was heard by a friend's parent, who was able to put Sinko to work tearing down vehicles and removing parts.

Scott Phelps, 39, of Jackson is saving up money to own an auto-repair shop. In the meantime, Sinko is helping keep Phelps' business alive.

"He's a good worker and just a good man," Phelps said. "It's hard today to find people who know how to work, really work. … But Daniel, he gets it."

Sinko said that in one week he's already pulled out about five radiators and worked on about one car a day. He said by the end of each day, he is covered from head to toe in oil and grease.

"I'm very appreciative of what I have," he said. "I don't get much, but I need this money. I'm still hoping to find myself a full-time job somewhere. Here's hoping."

At a glance …

Name: Daniel Sinko
Age: 20
Residence: Grass Lake
Family: Mother Diane Sinko; stepfather Dave Dowb; stepbrothers Jason Dowb, 26, and Anthony Dowb, 28; and sister Susan Dowb, 14.
Fun fact: Sinko enjoys fishing. While fishing for bass, he once caught a 26-inch northern pike.

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