By the staff of The Methodist Home as published in the Gateway magazine
Founded in 1872, The Methodist Home provides care for children and families in need across South Georgia including a continuum of residential care (Children’s Homes), community foster homes, specialized treatment programs and counseling services to better serve our community. The Methodist Home is a faith-based organization working to better equip at-risk youth and families for the future. Their mission is to be a model agency that restores childhoods, strengthens families and cultivates a people-building organization. Below are stories from Breanna and Noah whose lives have been changed from the care they received at The Home.
Breanna’s Story: Beating the Odds
Breanna is an alumna from our Valdosta campus and graduated with her bachelor of social work from Savannah State University this year! Her time at The Methodist Home gave her hope for her future, as she found freedom in being a “normal teenager” under the care of her staff members. She says, “They didn’t make me feel like a foster youth – I got to experience the same things as other people my age.”
The connections she made at The Home did not stop there, as she still talks with some of her staff members from her time here. “The made me feel a part of their family. I didn’t feel like it was just a job for them.” We desire for all of the young people we serve to feel this same way, knowing we are a big family who does not stop caring for them after they leave our home.
Breanna would describe herself as ambitious, funny, and brave, and those are absolutely accurate! She is a first-generation college student and did not have any role models in her family to look up to or ask advice from when entering the unknown college scene. But, something in her told her to keep going. Breanna says she believes she has a “divine calling” in the field of social work. She recalls advocating for herself while she was in foster care, and is excited to be that person for others in a similar place as she once was. “I’m a living testimony… Some college days were so hard and I wanted to give up, but I remembered why I did this. I know there is a reason for everything.”
She completed a project during her college career about social support systems for foster youth and realized how our culture often labels these young people as unsuccessful. But Breanna believes “if they have the right help and people to uplift them, that can make a difference.” She is living proof of that: “I was labeled by society and I beat the odds!” Breanna is currently pursuing her master’s degree and says she stays motivated by her younger brother, who is still in the foster care system, and desires for him to receive the same opportunities she did that gave her the chance to grow and thrive.
“Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help” is Breanna’s advice to current youth in foster care. She experienced first-hand what can happen if you share your need for support! “I want to thank The Methodist Home for sticking beside me and keeping in contact with me. Thank you for making me feel like family and feel important.”
We are honored to call Breanna an alumna of The Methodist Home and are looking forward to supporting her as she makes a difference in the lives of children in foster care!
Noah’s Story: Onward and Upward!
Noah is well-known around our Macon campus because he has called it home for nine years! He is also the first graduate from Price Academy, our school on campus. Typically, Price serves our youth up to the eighth grade, but in 2020 we established a program for our older youth who could benefit from a different school setting. Noah jumped on this opportunity and excelled!
This year, the campus gathered for our annual Awards Banquet to honor the growth of our young people. But there was something extra special in store – all of our young people got to cheer Noah on as he walked across the stage! It was truly a remarkable moment.
When Noah was asked why it was important to him to graduate high school, he said, “I promised I wouldn’t give up when it was hard. I used my pain and struggle to motivate me and I wanted to prove to myself and others that I won’t give up easily. I have so many people who put their faith in me and believe in me and I want to try my best to live up to that.” Noah has a bright future ahead of him, and he says “being at The Methodist Home has given me family support. I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for this place. They pushed me to want more than the bare minimum.”
Noah is looking forward to what is to come down the road, and says there are two things that he values above everything else: being a good father and husband. He says, “I know everyone fails at times, but I don’t want to fail at those things. I can choose to make a better future for myself, so when I have kids, they will have a life I didn’t have… Graduating is another example of that – I can show them that they can do it, too. I will give my future kids the support I didn’t have until I received it at The Methodist Home.”
A determined young man, Noah is excited to continue his education by going to college and believes that although he will continue to face challenges, what matters to him is how he works through the hard times. “There are going to be difficult times in your life, but the question is how you are going to handle it. You can do anything you put your mind to. It’s important to be full of live, give it your best, and when you fall, pick your head up and keep going!”
We are immensely proud of Noah. We will miss his leadership and kind spirit around campus when he heads off to college, but know he will continue to touch people’s lives in this next season!