News & Events

Graduate Update - Alex Willis

February 7, 2018

My name is Alex Willis and I am from Shell Lake, Wisconsin. After completing high school in 2008, I enrolled in the United States Marines Corps. After attending boot camp in San Diego, California I was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan. I loved being a Marine and serving my country.

I really enjoyed growing up in Shell Lake. Shell Lake is a very beautiful tourist town with great outdoor actvities and good people.

My mother grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She did her best to provide for me and my sister. My father abandoned my mother just after I was born. At 9 years old I started smoking marijuana with my cousins. In high school I began to use LSD, cocaine and prescription pills.

I was discharged in 2011 after serving six months in prison. This was devastating. I was at my lowest point in life. In all of this I could not stop drinking.

I came back to Shell Lake, but everything just got worse. I was introduced to methamphetamine. I would sell meth to pay for my addiction.  In February of 2014, a large police SWAT team showed up at my house and arrested me for the use and distribution of methamphetamine.

During this time my mom was encouraging me to accept the help that only Jesus Christ could provide. She told me about Teen Challenge. After being incarcerated twice, the jail chaplain helped me get into the program.

During this last year the Lord has helped me immensely. I am rebuilding my life in Christ. I graduated Teen Challenge Wisconsin last year and entered Brooklyn Teen Challenge School of Ministry in last month. My probation ended on December 30th and I started an internship at Brooklyn Teen Challenge January 1st.

Last week I got to meet Don Wilkerson who is President of Brooklyn Teen Challenge. I actually live where Nicky Cruz lived and take classes at the original Teen Challenge Center started by David Wilkerson.

Thank you for supporting Teen Challenge Wisconsin! Your support helps those struggling with addiction find freedom.  It also gives individuals like me the opportunity to pursue training to help others!

Pictures: Alex in front of Brooklyn Teen Challenge. Alex with Craig and Jennifer Harper

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