Epworth Children's Home

Epworth Children’s Home
2900 Millwood Ave
Columbia SC 29205

David: A Young Man Ready to Succeed in Life

David* is a leader, a young man regarded by his peers at Epworth as someone to emulate, a friend to look up to. He is a hard worker with his mind set on a future that will lead to a career in science. David is also industrious, always looking for things to do to help others. He is unfailingly polite to everyone around him.


The remarkable thing about David is that he is such an outstanding 19-year-old young man despite the difficult life that he has had. Before coming to Epworth two years ago, David had attended eight different schools, including three different high schools, and had experienced a tumultuous family situation that resulted in a great deal of instability and stress. Many of us would have become discouraged and wary after the burdens of such a hard early life, yet David has always looked forward, with a clear eye on his future.


When David arrived at Epworth to live, he was getting ready to enter his senior year in high school. He had already been to three different secondary schools and had also been thwarted by the pandemic which had forced him to take most of his classes online. As a result, he began his senior year of high school behind in the number of credits he would need to graduate on time.


David did not let this challenge overwhelm him. Working carefully with the academic counselors at Epworth and Dreher High School’s guidance department, David was given the opportunity to double up on some of his classes, taking on a heavier academic load. While most high school seniors complete the majority of their requirements for graduation during their sophomore and junior years, and take an easier class load their senior year, David was working harder than ever to take on extra academic work so that he had enough credits to graduate.


His hard work paid off. David graduated from Dreher on time this past spring. This is quite an accomplishment for a young man whose life has been filled with such huge challenges. It is also an accomplishment that has not gone unrecognized at Epworth.


Tameka Massey, David’s case manager in Epworth’s Center for Independent Living, praises David.

“He is someone all the other kids look up to,” Tameka said. “He’s a young man who has learned to advocate for himself in describing what he needs to do to succeed. David looks for things to do to help others, and he genuinely cares about his fellow residents at Epworth. He is also so polite and mannerly and sets a fine example for others.”


Since graduating from high school, David has moved on to live at Epworth’s Center for Independent Living, a place on campus where older youth can live more on their own and receive support while attending college, getting job skills training, and learning life skills so that life on their own someday will be easier. David is settled in his new campus home and has obtained a part-time job.


The Center for Independent Living staff members have worked with David to help him get his Social Security card and enroll in driver’s education classes so that he can get his driver’s license.


David plans to attend Midlands Technical College where he hopes to study for a career in science. Recognizing David’s hard academic work at Dreher, his leadership at Epworth, and his potential for success in life, the Joy Sunday School class at Shandon United Methodist Church awarded David a scholarship to help with his college expenses.


“I was so happy that they thought I could do the work at college and be successful there,” David said. “I will never forget their help.”


As David begins this next important stage in his young life, he reflected back on his first days at Epworth.


“When I got to Epworth, I felt like part of a family, a real family, for the first time, and I felt that way from the very beginning,” he said. “Everybody made me feel so comfortable from the start and I knew everybody was there to help me.”