Lawrence is currently a fourth grader at a Jefferson County Elementary school in Louisville. He is the youngest of nine kids and lives with his mom. His eight older siblings were placed in other homes by Child Protective Services. In second grade, his mom told him the only reason he stayed with her is so she could receive a monthly Social Security check. He wears unwashed clothes to school and is starved for attention and affection. Lawrence participated in the Elevate program each week last year and will again this school year. His principal recently said, “the intentional focus that Elevate has on meeting his individual needs and being that male role model and friend . . . mentoring him has encouraged him to engage with other classmates, adults and improved his attendance and his potential as a leader.”
Samantha is just 6 years old and arrived at summer camp sullen, sad, and scared. Early on in her life she was sexually abused by her biological parents and placed in foster care. Sadly, she was removed from the first foster care home, because her foster parents and a foster sibling sexually abused her as well. She was selected to attend a special camp for homeless and foster kids that Elevate Recreation was a part of. Early on at camp, Samantha didn’t participate, she remained guarded, and only communicated by nodding her head yes or no. As we gained her trust, we could notice small changes in her. Whether it was giving a high five after playing “Bug Out/Kickball,” or beginning to take part in the classes, she was beginning to experience joy that all kids should. And on the last day, she actively participated in our recreation programs and for the first time all week, we saw her smile! Check-out pics from this camp here and here!
Meet Charles. He’s an elementary student who is being mentored each week through Elevate Recreation at his local public school. When asked if he enjoys these sessions with the staff and volunteers, his eyes lit up and he replied, “It’s the only GOOD thing about my Tuesday!” Rock on Elevate. Keep making a difference!
Brandon is a 10-year old kid who lived in an orphanage for almost a year. Elevate is mentoring these young boys on a monthly basis with a group of Christian men who spend a day playing games, acting goofy and talking about Godly principles. After one of these monthly sessions, Brandon ran up to Elevate’s Executive Director, Logan Murphy, and said “This is EXACTLY what I needed,” and Logan replied, “me too!” And Brandon responded, “before I go for my final visit to be adopted this afternoon.” The next week he was permanently adopted.
Abdullah was sitting with his elementary school counselor working on his speech therapy. He looked up and told her that he wanted to make sure and finish on time because he didn’t want to miss his weekly time with the Elevate “guys” on Tuesday. There are boys requesting to get into the recreation mentoring program for at risk boys. This counselor is putting into place benchmarks to report Elevate’s program will improve these boys’ test scores, attendance, school rankings as well as their spiritual and emotional health.
University of Louisville point guard Peyton Siva, who recently led the Cards to the Final Four, volunteered with Elevate in May, 2012! Siva talked with the boys about life, challenges, answered their questions and played a few games as well. Each boy was given a Final Four cap signed by Siva. It was a great surprise! More photos HERE.
Please check back for more success stories soon!