At the conclusion of the summer program, we celebrated the greatest milestone of all for the children in our residential program when four boys graduated. Each of them successfully completed the program and positively influenced the other children in the homes. Here are their highlights:
Mark (Boys 1) –
- Before: Excessive theft from businesses and family members and dramatic manipulation/extreme attention-getting behaviors: accusing his mother of abuse (unfounded) and intentionally choking himself until he required hospitalization.
- After: No instances of theft while in the program or at home. Quickly aligned with the program by following rules to avoid consequences and to enjoy the privileges. Became a leader for the other boys. His mother realized the importance of extending focused attention and unconditional love to him. She trusts him again and believes that he will do very well in high school next year.
Joshua (Boys 2) –
- Before: Known for being an “angry child” – withdrawn, sullen, negative, and pseudo-emo in appearance. Developed an explosive temper following his parent’s divorce. Trashed his home in a fit of rage, threatened to hurt himself, and began to physically threaten his mother and invade her personal space. His mother said, “He is currently unmanageable, but I refuse to lose hope that there are solutions to these issues. I believe that he could have so much to offer this world…”
- After: With considerable effort and time, John shed his all-black, pseudo-emo look, began to participate in activities, smile, and laugh. Learned how to control his anger and manage his emotions. His mother feels safe around him again and excited for his return home. Developed a strong relationship with his house pop which was pivotal to his healing.
Joey (Boys 3) –
- Before: Angry, insecure about his small size, excessively defiant towards his parents, untrustworthy, manipulative, and furious about his parents’ divorce. He picked fights with others at school. Struggled academically and used this to his advantage by manipulating his teachers into letting him off the hook for assignments and behavioral incidents. He was falling through the cracks.
- After: Learned to accept the things in life that are out of his control. Discovered how to manage his emotions and handle circumstances without lashing out at people. No longer explodes in anger towards his parents or others. Frustration began to dissolve as he set goals and achieved them. His parents quickly realized the importance for consistency and implemented a plan for his behavior. Began to physically grow, but it was not as important to him as he realized that the boys in his house accepted him for who he is. Began to excel in school and earned all A’s and B’s.
Robby (Boys 3) –
- Before: Very disrespectful to his parents, moody, had difficulties in school, refused to do schoolwork and homework, and developed an “I don’t care” attitude. Felt very lonely and longed for attention. His parents struggled to get him to do anything. When he had to repeat a grade, his parents sought help.
- After: After some time, he opened up and began to thrive on the attention and unconditional love he received here. Began to take pride in schoolwork, earned all A’s and B’s, and rarely missed an assignment. His parents, especially his father, realized his need to be present in his son’s life, and made a huge effort to do this. Has developed into a joyful and peaceful young man who smiles all the time.
Please pray for them as they journey to become young men who seek after Christ.