Set Backs and Breakthroughs

How can you escape when the past has such a hold over you?

It’s hard and it’s painful, but in the end it is worth it. For Joel and his mentor Dale, the signs of stress were all too familiar.

After having been a mentoring team for several years, Joel’s grades started slipping. He started missing meetings with Dale. When Dale got a message from Joel at the last minute that Joel would miss their third meeting in a row, he decided to investigate.

Dale was pretty sure that Joel was with his girlfriend. Circling the neighborhood, checking out Joel’s favorite spots led Dale to the dugout of the school ball field where he found them making out. Dale walked over and casually sat down next to them, surprising the couple. It was decision time for Joel. What would he choose? School or his girlfriend?

Rather than lecture Joel, in their next meeting Dale lead him through an exercise in dealing with distractions. As they discussed their distractions, Joel’s girlfriend was nowhere to be found. Joel was very reluctant to consider that his relationship with his girlfriend was a distraction. Dale tried to help Joel see how his choices would affect his future.

How do you move forward when people you care about don’t want you to change?

At first Joel refused to listen. Then about three weeks later Joel intentionally broke up with his girlfriend. She took it badly and diligently tried to get back together with him. It was a rough time for Joel. He was lonely without her. But Joel stayed firm with his decision to move on with his life.

On his own initiative Joel found, applied and got enrolled in a summer program at Sac State for criminal justice. Joel’s grades improved. He will graduate this semester and plans to attend Sac State in the fall.

About six months after Joel broke off his relationship with his girlfriend, Joel saw her at a school event and noticed that she was several months pregnant.

Joel realized that the baby could have been his if he had not made the choice to break up with her. He is grateful for the fatherly guidance he received from Dale, guidance that took his life in a better direction.

More boys like Joel are waiting for mentors. We need $50,000 by this Father’s Day to give 27 fatherless boys a chance at a new life. Donate Today.




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