Education Is Key
“Your support gives us courage.”
Courage is an important factor for men and woman who step through our doors. Many have spent the better part of their lives feeling that failure defines them. Whether or not they were fortunate enough to have loving people in their lives to help them, the results were the same; something was missing. They lacked the power, drive, and grit it would take to step forward to overcome the fear and pain they carried deep within.
JASMINE shared, “I’m 26 and I’ve struggled with addiction since I was 15. My mom was an addict, so addiction was certainly a learned behavior.” Other behaviors were a matter of choice for Jasmine. She was a teen mom who dropped out of high school, having had both of her children by the time she was 17. “I wanted a loving family because I didn’t have one.” Jasmine is like many. Her story is a jumbled mix of painful circumstance; some by choice and some not.
We asked Jasmine (and two of our Academy disciples) to share with you who they are today as they look to the future. This is what they had to share:
“On November 1, 2017, I became a disciple at Rescue the Children. On that day I made a choice and I took my life back. It was through the program that Jesus Christ entered my heart and I’ll never be the same. In the nine months I’ve been here I’ve learned I am loved. I’ve learned to love myself, to love my kids, and to trust God to supply for my needs. Through this process, I also realize how important education is. I am going to get my G.E.D. before leaving Rescue the Children. Then I want to start college. My goals are to be a great mom, to work toward my CNA, and eventually to have a career as an RN. I decided I want a career, not a job.” ~ Jasmine
DID YOU KNOW…?
GED and LITERACY classes are mandatory program components for all men and women who are lacking one or both. The GED (General Equivalency Development or General Equivalency Diploma) is made up of 4 subjects, broken into separate exams that, when passed, provide the taker with high school-level academic skills. In truth, without GED all other educational opportunities afforded through our programs would be overly challenging for those coming to us in their current condition. Education provides more than reading and mathematical skills. It teaches us to reason and to make better choices.
HARLEY shared, “I’ve had other opportunities to work toward my GED, but I never took it seriously. It wasn’t until I saw another disciple passed his Social Studies practice test that I began to want it. He inspired me. I tackled Social Studies and Science, but I struggled in Math, failing my first attempt by 3 points. So, I brushed it off, continued to study, and 3 weeks later took the test again. This time I passed!” ~ Harley
Every person’s experience is unique. With volunteers, we are able to provide classroom instruction and one-on-one attention to keep men and women motivated, even when they lack fundamental habits and skills.
JOSE shared, “I grew up in an environment where educational pursuits were not nurtured. No one encouraged academic responsibility, so my homework and study habits were not developed. By the time I was 16 I was a drop-out with an 8th-grade education. I turned to a life on the streets and all that came with it. By the time I entered the FRM Academy, I was broken, lost, and completely hopeless. My vision of ever becoming someone of value and purpose had faded away.”
Learning to accept that the details from their past no longer define them, our disciples are encouraged to move beyond blame and take steps to be responsible for their futures.
Jose is now 28, wearing a bright smile and an attitude of success.
“With focus, determination, and hard work I obtained my GED. This was something I didn’t have to do alone. With support from Mission staff and all the volunteers who dedicate their time helping me, I made it! They helped me understand that God has a plan for me, not just spiritually, but in who He made me to be. I keep this Scripture verse and my “little” poem as reminders:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
“Little By Little”
He does not lead me year by year,
Nor even day by day;
But step by step my path unfolds.
My Lord directs my way.
“Today, I’m learning that it’s never too late to reach important goals. Thank you, Fresno Rescue Mission and all those who donate toward the work being done here. Your support gives us courage. Mostly, I thank God Almighty for the hope I now have in a successful future.” ~ Jose
This story appeared in the August 2018 edition of Lighthouse News