I first met Trevor at the high school recommended by a staff person in the library. She mentioned that she thought he was struggling and probably could use a mentor to finish out his high school career. I introduced myself to him and he was quick to fill me in on the details of his life, amazingly without a sense of self pity or in need of assistance. But after hearing his story, if anyone needed pity or assistance it would be Trevor.
Trevor had made some mistakes in his younger years, that he would admit was his fault and took full responsibility for. We found out later that his family showed him no forgiveness or grace due to an incident when he was 13! Later on in the school year, a mentor drove him to a court appearance about finishing up his court fees and clearing his record. The mentor met the mom who was very cold and cruel to Trevor. Trevor was respectful and accepting that he should be treated that way. The mentor was so sad for him and realized after meeting the mom how he could become homeless. Without support around him he found himself homeless living under the stars the summer before he came to our school.
Trevor said one night during the summer he became very depressed. He got on his bike at night and was going down the interstate. In a moment of complete hopelessness, he sat up on his bike seat, took his hands off the handle bars, spread open his arms throwing his head back with his eyes closed, he prepared himself for the inevitable contact that was to come. He could feel the bike taking a direction towards the oncoming traffic, but to his amazement, the bike jerked back to the side of the road and didn’t crash. He felt that something miraculous had happened! So, that very night, he made his way into a church. The church quickly took him in and got to know him and his situation. That is where he met a family that allowed him to live with them. With shelter & food, Trevor was able to continue his high school career with a hope of graduating 9 months later.
It was great timing for Trevor to begin meeting with his mentor and begin talking about immediate needs in his life, goals for the near future and a plan for after graduation. Trevor had always been so appreciative of the program and any help and assistance we were able to provide. But as with any student in the mentoring program, the greatest assistance is to believe in themselves and to give them hope for a better future.
Many conversations were had with his mentor about learning from the past, but moving forward into a future waiting for him. His past failures did come back to haunt him making him feel unworthy of a high school diploma. You could see that his second semester he went from A’s, B’s & C’s to low C’s, D’s & F’s. Many would assume it was “senior-itous” thing, but it was more than that. You could see there was a fear of the future and a feeling of not being worthy.
His mentor was pivotal in changing his idea of his self worth. Trevor started to put it into gear and working hard. He became serious about his grades and stayed after school in the library for many weeks due to his not having a computer at the home where he lived. I’ll never forget his face two weeks before graduation when he came to my office to inform me he was passing every class and on target to graduate!
When Trevor finally started working hard in the spring, we started talking to him about college. He of coarse didn’t believe it was possible for him. But he took a chance and talked to the admittance office of SAGU University. They expressed that it was possible and that they wanted him. He filled out FAFSA, received grant money from the government and scholarships from the university.
Trevor will enroll in the fall! Movement Toward a Future is going to help with a few fees involved with the start of a college year, help get the bedding, towels and everything needed for his dorm room as well as school supplies. Trevor is in the process now of looking for a job close the university where he can ride his bike.
Trevor is a great kid with a great future ahead of him. He is going to beat all the odds and not believe the voices in his head that he is not worthy.
We are all so proud of him!
Click here to read more about Trevor in Now Magazine! His story is on page 18 under Caring Connections.