Mario, Cassie, and Angel all took different paths and made questionable decisions that led them to our program. Yet, one thing they have in common is that their lives have been restored; and today, they are celebrating their graduation. These are their stories…
Mario arrived to Sheridan House as a child with a total sense of indifference. He disrespected authority figures and utilized lying and manipulation tactics to get what he wanted. Like many others in the program, Mario was rebellious at first. He didn’t want to embrace the structure of the program or the responsibilities that came with it.
For the first few months, his commitment fluctuated, and in a matter of weeks, he lost all of the points he had earned. Due to his rebellious nature, he had a “Tribunal” meeting which resulted in him being placed on probation. At this point, he realized that everyone was truly there to help him. The combination of his parents’ increased commitment to the program and his personal decision to make wise choices, Mario began to change. He asked Christ to be his Lord and Savior in the summer of ’09 and became a leader in the house shortly thereafter.
Naturally a socially-wired young man, Mario went from looking out for himself to looking out for others. According to Efrain Figueroa, his behavioral specialist, “Mario is a really good guy with a great heart. As he continues to grow in the Lord and mature as a man, I pray that Mario remembers that he has the power to change his life, and more importantly, that Christ has the power to change his life.”
Although Cassie was a believer when she entered the program, her relationship with Christ wasn’t real to her. She suffered from low self-esteem, was a victim of peer pressure/bullying, sought out negative attention through manipulative behavior and lying, in addition to being extremely defiant. Her peers didn’t want to be around her because she was “fake.” Cassie’s time here was a bit like a rollercoaster ride until she grasped the purpose of the program and developed an understanding of Christ’s deep love for her.
As Cassie began to understand who she was in Christ, her confidence grew dramatically. She not only accepted herself for who she was and for how God has gifted her, but she also began to accept responsibility for her actions. Her family is behind her 100% and they are all communicating well now. “Cassie is now a breath of fresh air,” says Juliana Guevara, her behavioral specialist. “She has a contagious spirit and servant’s heart. She always wants to volunteer and has been a wonderful example of leadership to the other girls in the house.”
Cassie’s future is bright. She hopes to become a nurse. She is very focused on this goal and has the support of her parents. Juliana’s prayer for Cassie is that she continues to see her beauty and value through God’s eyes; that she continues to focus on the Lord; and that her family continues to use the tools they have been given through the program.
With limited motivation and a GPA near zero, Angel entered Sheridan House. He showed little to no respect for his dad and others in authority; he refused to obey; and academically, he was a D/F student. He just seemed to float through life. Fortunately, Angel seemed to respond positively to our structured routine quickly and his dad was bought in from day one. He accepted Christ within a few months of enrolling into the program and communicated openly and often about what God was doing in and through his life. Additionally, Angel’s grades improved. He went from a D/F student to an A/B/C student.
Adam Roberts, Angel’s behavioral specialist, states, “He is awesome to be around. He makes everyone laugh. He is always in a positive mood regardless of the circumstances.” Angel really wants to maintain good grades and finish high school. Adam’s prayer for Angel is that he continues to maintain a positive relationship with his dad; that he utilizes the Scripture he has learned and implements it in his life; that he and his dad plug into a local church; and finally, that Angel understands that since he was successful at Sheridan House, he can be successful at anything.
Join us in celebrating these precious, restored lives. Please continue to pray for them as they grow and develop into men and women who seek after Christ and all He has in store for them.
“Being confident of this very thing, He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”