“My dad died when I was ten years of age and left a massive void in my life. The person I looked up to for guidance, success, an example of how to work, the provider and strength of the family was gone. My mother was left to manage three teen-age boys and the little bit of money my dad had left. The family immediately went into turmoil with the loss of my dad. While my mom should have been experiencing the loss of her lifelong romance she was faced with the fear and uncertainty of raising five kids as a single mother.
For the next many years I lived in grief, anger and resentment of my dad’s loss. I watched in envy and resentment other kids spending time with their dads and it enraged me. I had become openly rebellious, a problem at school, my grades dropped to just above passing levels and I turned to drugs and alcohol. I had become an outcast in the school system and a black sheep of the family. I hated everything; the schools, teachers, authority figures, my peers, and myself. For the next 10 years my life got progressively worse, I was fired from five jobs, overdosed multiple times and even beaten within inches of my life.
I was a good kid raised in a good family that turned bad because there was no father figure to guide, mentor and discipline me.
At the age of 25 I started to turn my life around all because men stepped in to provide me with mentoring, direction and purpose. I am so thankful to these men who took time with me and have used mentors for the last 35 years to continue my growth and development.”