This school year the Byrne Campus has been able to celebrate academic achievements with two of our clients. We had a young lady who was inducted into the National Honor's Society and a young man who received an award for Outstanding Performance in Science. Our staff and other clients were able to go to the ceremonies and support them as they received their awards. This meant a lot that they had people who wanted to be there for them.
For the National Honor's Society induction, students were directed to go to the podium to say something, which most of them thanked their families for encouraging and supporting them. This was hard for our young lady, because her family was unable to come, but she was excited for her staff and housemates to be there. She said "I want to think everyone that came tonight, and Jesus Christ".
Our young man was excited and nervous, as he did not know what he would have to do. He dressed up with a dress shirt and bow tie, and had staff fix his hair. While sitting in the stands waiting for the ceremony to start, he continued to scoot close to staff, as he was not comfortable with being near the other people without somehow touching staff. He told staff that his history teacher asked for help writing her speech that day at school, and gave all the students a sticky note and asked them what it takes to be successful in school. When the teacher started her speech she said that many students responded to her prompt with typical 7th grade answers like being tall or being a good athlete, but one young man (who was our young man) said "It takes kindness, courage, and love to be successful in life".
While both of these clients have been through many hard times, and have struggles that they continue to work through, it is these times that we see the difference we make. Our young lady is unashamed to say the name of Jesus in front of a crowd of strangers, and understands that she has more than just her family who love and support her. Our young man is learning that kindness, courage and love, are more important in life than athletic ability or money. Whether we have these youth for a short period of time or a longer period of time, we can find joy in the difference God can use us to make in their lives.