Steven is the youngest boy in the middle school cottage this year, but he is one of the tallest boys in the cottage. He is destined to be a very tall and broad-shouldered man one day, but right now he is in the sometimes awkward development stage that accompanies the early teenage years. Yet his physical appearance is countered by a quiet and soft-spoken personality.
Steven came to Epworth last fall from a stressed family system, one where he experienced neglect so severe that he was removed from his home by the Department of Social Services. The neglect he experienced in his early childhood contributes to his quiet, sometimes withdrawn, nature. In those first few weeks, he did not bond right away with the other boys in the cottage and you would often see him off by himself.
As the weeks went by Steven began to experience the stability of a safe and secure home. Steven appreciated having plenty to eat (which for a growing teenage boy is a big deal!) and a comfortable place to sleep. He bonded with his cottage parents who gave him the space to be by himself but continued to encourage him to be more engaged at Epworth and at school.
Now months after his arrival, Steven’s growth spurt is still going strong. Yes, he is still growing taller, but he is also growing in intangible ways. He has developed close friendships with the other boys and is often seen playing basketball instead of being alone. His grades are improving, he loves science, and he has a new dream of being a paleontologist when he grows up. He still has a lot of growth in front of him, but with each day at Epworth he is walking with more confidence into the future.
This Mother’s Day, make a generous gift knowing you are a partner with Epworth in transforming the lives of children, children like Steven.
*Child’s name and photo changed for confidentiality