Mike joined the Epworth Children’s Home family about five years ago as a young teenager. He grew up in an unstable family, raised by an overwhelmed single mother. He did okay in school but had a difficult time without stability and support when the school day ended. Eventually taking care of Mike became too much for his mother. She moved out of state and Mike came to Epworth.
Mike’s life transformed when he came to Epworth. The stability of caring and loving adults gave him the structure he needed to thrive. As he started high school, the struggles of his childhood began to fade away. He now had a place to call home and he began to focus on the future. He graduated from high school and earned a full scholarship, including housing, to college.
His first semester went by quickly and soon it was fall break. Epworth arranged for Mike and four other Epworth students at the same college to come back home. To the staff’s pleasant surprise, when they rolled up to the dormitory, there was Mike and his other Epworth friends standing at the curb with bags packed.
As the van started the return trip, a voice from the back seat yelled, “Thank you for coming to get us!” It was Mike. The staff responded, “No, thank you – all of you- for going to college and making a better life for yourself.” Mike quickly replied, “No, no, no. Thank you. Thank you for believing that we were good enough to even go to college. “
By mid-afternoon, they pulled into the Epworth parking lot and a blur of students sprinted from the door. “I’m home!” exclaimed Mike as he bolted across the parking lot. The staff tried to catch him to remind him to get his luggage, but it was too late, he was already half way across campus. From building to building he ran, knocking on doors and hugging anyone who answered. Mike was home!