Recently, CNN aired a touching story about an honor student whose ambition is to be a Harvard grad, with a Ph.D in medicine. It’s not the kind of story you expect to see making national headlines, except this student is poor, homeless, highly intelligent and living in a California shelter with his mother and sister.
I thought of Kelsey, one of our teens who lived at the Star of Hope Transitional Living Center with her mother and brother, before moving into our New Horizons community. When she first arrived at Star of Hope her morale was low. Homelessness is difficult for adolescents. The staff loved her through her distress, and the structure of our teen program bolstered her confidence and fueled her hope of going to college one day. Kelsey’s dream now is to study engineering and become an Air Force pilot!
Kelsey is a straight-A student and, recently, was nominated to attend the week-long National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. The NYLF is a prestigious program for helping exemplary students prepare for professional careers.
You can imagine her excitement when she was nominated, but immediately, her heart sank, because she knew she wouldn’t be able to afford to go. But after a little help from staff, she was astonished to learn that a generous donor made her dream-trip come true! This is what she wrote to her donor.
“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of what will be my future. It just brightened my Mother’s eyes when she found out that I would be able to go to Washington. She has always wanted the best for me and couldn't give it to me. This will never be forgotten."
Kelsey has just returned from this amazing experience… and her dream and HOPE are alive… in God’s grace and in her future! At Star of Hope, we want all our homeless kids to experience the fact that God has a great future planned for each of them!