Be the Difference: From Brilliant Bully to Bright Beacon

Josh and Mom

 

In 2013, then nine-year-old Josh arrived at Father Joe’s Villages when a significant rent increase left his family without a place to sleep. Josh’s family, including his mother Kim, father John and brother Tyson, came to our St. Vincent de Paul Village determined to get back on solid ground.

 

Father Joe Villages’ Therapeutic Childcare team recognized immediately that Josh was a highly intelligent child whose quick mind craved academic challenge. He needed a stable and reliable adult mentor who could inspire him intellectually and professional experts to address the fact that he bullied kids and could not manage his anger.

 

Statistics show that homeless children are eight times more likely to repeat a grade, three times more likely to be placed in special education and twice as likely to score lower on standardized tests. The team at Father Joe’s Villages knew that Josh’s future relied on their action. He was a bright kid who needed the tools to shine, so we got to work.

 

The Therapeutic Childcare team set behavioral goals with Josh, helping him to recognize his emotions, analyze the impact of his actions and identify coping strategies. With dedication on the part of Josh, his parents and the Therapeutic Childcare staff, Josh mastered the skills he needed to become the person he and his parents knew he could be.

 

In addition to his hard work with therapeutic childcare, Josh received counseling from our mental health services department and support from a volunteer mentor, an adult with whom he maintains a positive relationship.

 

Now 12 years old, Josh is the first to remind his peers about consequences to their actions and help them change their behaviors, ultimately helping everyone pave their path to a brighter future.