Remember at family functions as a child when you walked into the room and all the relatives made comments about you like, “You are growing like a weed” or “I can’t believe you’re taller than me now” or “Look at you, all grown up!” It’s amazing how quickly children change and grow into young adults. This month, as Americans and Jamericans celebrate Thanksgiving, we feel like those proud relatives watching the kids around us come into their own, grateful for the part we’ve played in their lives and amazed at their accomplishments.
Remember Tahj, Lorna’s son? We’ve mentioned him in previous newsletters. Tahj came into the ACE program when he was a student at Water Valley School. This month, Tahj has graduated from the Caribbean Maritime University in Kingston. Thank you all for contributing to this young man’s future, the first in our Child Sponsorship Program to earn a degree. We are so proud of him and his perseverance to follow his dreams.
We all know Anthony. Anthony moved into the Campus when we had an iQuest team in 2015. Anthony is a survivor, finding a different path than Tahj, with his own dreams and aspirations on how to earn a living. Anthony stayed in St Mary and became an integral part of the ACE team while completing high school. At 19, Anthony took a job, learning the trade of rewinding pumps from small to super large in Ochi. Today, Anthony, soon be 21 in February, has joined Buccaneers in a management training position to run Henry’s Hideout Pizza.
Meet Darron Campbell. When this little boy needed a safe space to live, his sponsor and some of you answered the call many years ago to help build Darron a home for him, his mother and siblings. Speed forward ten years – guess who called and asked if we were employing workers at ACE or Green Life Farm? You guessed it! Darron, who now goes by his nickname Carrot, is 19 and, according to Bulla his supervisor, a hard worker.
The nicest, most fulfilling part about our job is being involved in young students’ lives through the Child Sponsorship Program and then, with joy, seeing them move into adulthood with a purpose. This is why staying put in one place for a least a decade or two or three can really prove to be beneficial. We are constantly reinvesting in each other’s lives, day by day, with God at the center. We are grateful for their sponsors and for the opportunity to witness the journey of these young men.
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