Hi my name is Jacob and I am 22 years old. I am from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Growing up I was raised by my single mother with three sisters. My father and my mother have never been married. He was a musician and she was a bartender. My father has mostly been absent from my life. Having no father figure in my life left me feeling unaccepted and not loved. I also never received the proper discipline for my actions throughout my childhood.
Once I got to high school I was searching for acceptance and I found it with people who were much like myself. I started drinking and going to high school parties at 13 and shortly after I started taking prescription medication. My sophomore year I was expelled from school for pills and then I went to two different schools and graduated in 2013.
It wasn’t until after high school I was introduced to cocaine. Once I went to college in Eau Claire, I started selling and doing all different kinds of hard drugs. Cocaine completely consumed my life and I stopped going to school. I started getting involved with the wrong people and when I was 19 I committed a burglary, which I am on probation for now.
I sat four months in jail after a year of going through court. While in jail I heard of a program called Teen Challenge. I was already going to church on Sundays in jail and I asked my pastor about this program. He told me it was the best addiction program there is. The next day I got a hold of the intake coordinator, and I presented Teen Challenge to the judge as a treatment possibility.
The judge accepted it and through this program I am able to expunge my felony. I have been in the program for 13 months and graduated at the end of May. God has completely restored my family and is teaching me how to be a morally free person. I am planning on continuing on as a reentry student and going back to school at MATC. A verse I stand on today is James 4:10 “Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.”
My name is Natalie and I’m 20 years old. I am proud to say I have found God, and there is no going back for me. Over one year ago I came into the program, a completely broken and lost soul. I had tried everything that the world had to offer me, explored every religion, but I was still left empty. I was facing prison time.
My name is Grace and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old and it really affected me. I was very upset and sad that I had to be in the middle of my parent’s separation. As I got older I continued to carry this anger and darkness that followed me.