Against all Odds


I wanted to share a story from one of our Contributors, Swampwoman. She and her husband are educators in the state of Florida. It’s obvious from reading their story that they are very interested in providing opportunities for their students to learn, even when others have given up on them. (courtesy GCP)

SwampMan and I had worried about what had happened to a former student for years. As a child, he’d been subjected to the most horrific physical and sexual abuse at the hands of those who should have protected him. His mom, also a victim, was helpless to protect him, herself, or the younger ones. As he grew older, he was small and thin and could go into rages when provoked. He was bullied/provoked relentlessly in school and fought back violently. He was often in trouble.

He was an ESE student. I helped him with his reading. I thought he was brilliant and creative and told him so frequently. He had a gift for writing and WHAT an imagination! My heart ached for the gentle, sensitive young man I could catch glimpses of underneath the sullen, combative exterior of a middle schooler that should be in high school.

SwampMan REALLY worried about him. He tutored him. He listened to his problems. He did not report things that probably would have gotten him arrested, suspended, and some mandatory jail time, preferring to handle it himself and talk with the young man.

Then something really bad happened and he was removed from his home and school. We didn’t know where he had been placed or what had happened to him until he graduated, then he came back to the school and told SwampMan how he was a better dad to him than his dad had ever been.

We saw him this evening at a fast food establishment. He came to our table to tell us how much we meant to him. He brought his manager out and told her how we never stopped believing in him. He showed us his car, and told us how proud he had been to cook our food. We are so proud of him!

So many kids that we’ve known with backgrounds like his are dead or in prison. We’ve so happy that he’s getting along fine, even in this crappy economy, holding a job, and being a productive member of society. The slight young man is now a well-muscled, confident, handsome man.

Well done.

4 Responses

  1. Well done indeed!

  2. It has to be doubly gratifying, knowing they made a difference and actually finding out in person.

  3. Nice story. I third the Well Done!

Comments are closed.

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