Emily’s parents divorced when she was three, and her birth mother was in and out of her life until she was 10. She hardly remembers what her mom was like, since she completely disappeared from the life of her kids. Emily felt abandoned and unwanted. The youngest of five kids, she found comfort and safety in spending time with her siblings. However, things changed drastically after their family moved to Texas and Emily’s dad remarried.
Emily’s relationships suffered as tension with her stepmom created a toxic and unstable environment.
Her siblings told her they did not want her to be their sister anymore, and her stepmom no longer wanted her around. Emily’s heart was broken, and she was losing a battle with anxiety.
Due to instability at home and changing schools, Emily was on the verge of not graduating from high school. “I wanted to get away from it all, from the pressure on my chest that I would get from anxiety and stress. I was at the point that I would have anxiety attacks and end up in the hospital.”
When Emily arrived at BGC, she was 23 classes behind her peers. While living at home, she did not have the emotional capacity to pull herself out of that hole, and she was in despair at the prospect of never graduating. At BGC, her teaching parents and program team provided Emily with the resources to tackle what seemed impossible, retaking her classes within a year to graduate on time.
The sense of stability and support gave Emily a foundation to focus on academics and trust those around her.
Emily’s life finally started improving as she became the older sister to a cottage full of girls. That gave her a whole new perspective on life and a sense of responsibility to believe in herself and encourage others. Her relationships at home also improved as she learned to control her anxiety and stress through counseling.
Emily shared that her relationship with God has grown significantly and has become a vital part of her life. She was inspired, encouraged and guided by her teaching mom, Ms. Angie, who is the first God-centered mother figure in her life. Emily created a routine of writing prayers and volunteered to lead devotionals in her cottage. “Faith is the only thing to hold on to,” she commented.
Thanks to the guidance, advocacy, and support Emily received from BGC’s staff and Education program, she was able to finish all required courses and graduate on time. It took a lot of discipline and left her exhausted at times, but Emily is very proud of her amazing achievement.
Today, Emily is following her dream of becoming an English teacher and turning her passion for writing and reading into a career. She chooses to take advantage of opportunities in life while being a light to the people around her. Being an older sister in a cottage taught her to be strong for others and help them stay focused on the plan that God has for them.
After God and family, education is one of the most emphasized values at Boys and Girls Country. All the kids who arrive at BGC carry a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Trauma, food insecurity, distrust in adults and lack of self-control lead to poor academic performance. That’s why it is so important to evaluate the children who are placed at BGC to see what underlying issues are preventing them from being their best selves. Thanks to your support, Boys and Girls Country has the necessary resources to equip our kids for success and meet them where they are. Whether they need special accommodations at school or a private tutor to get back to their grade level, our kids can be sure that the support they need is within reach.
Thanks to the investment of our generous donors, kids like Emily find safety, stability and care at BGC and focus on their God-given talents. This year, 10 seniors graduated from high school and are pursuing a bright future as successful, independent adults.
As we prepare for the upcoming school year, we ask that you prayerfully consider making a gift to invest in the future of children who call BGC home. We are so thankful for your support. Every gift ensures that our mission is alive and that the future of our children and young adults is bright.