Last year, we published a story about a girl named Tori* who was singing in the choir at school and had performed in the 2017 Governor’s Carolighting at the State House before Christmas. We wanted to give you an update on what has been happening in Tori’s life since we last wrote about her.
Tori arrived at Epworth just over two years ago, at the age of 14. She had moved around many times during her childhood, and had been forced to take on adult responsibilities since she didn’t have adults in her life who were taking care of those for her. Additionally, she had suffered from physical abuse prior to Epworth.
These traumatic experiences had compounded over time, and when she arrived she was a very withdrawn and timid child who would rarely speak to anyone, and who seemed to shy away from any attention that came her way. Over time, as we described in the previous issue, Tori came out of her shell. Leading up to last winter when she began taking leading roles in her performing arts extracurricular groups, and singing with the choir!
We are so pleased to report that Tori has continued to excel both at school and in her extracurricular activities! She is still a member of the choir, and performed again this year with the Carolighting Choir as they lit the tree outside the State House. In addition, she appeared in the play “Fiddler on the Roof” performed by the drama club and held at her high school in November. Not only that, but Tori has taken on leadership roles both on campus and off.
Tori enrolled in the Teacher Cadet Program at school, and helped to organize and lead a Teacher Cadet Day at USC. Tori hopes to become a teacher one day, and is participating in classroom observation at Hand Middle School. She has become a part of the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) leadership team on campus, and her staff now describe her as “an active and talkative child, who has many good ideas and lots of enthusiasm.” A far cry from the withdrawn and timid child that arrived at Epworth only a little over two years ago!
With the support of her cottage staff, campus Pastor, and all of the community at Epworth, Tori continues to blossom, discover her talents and prepare for her future. We are thrilled with the progress Tori continues to make, and know that she has great things in store for her future.