Eric: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Originally posted November 30, 2013

By Courtney Mathews


Sometimes, outward appearances don’t necessarily reflect the person inside. Such is the case with Eric. If you passed by him on the street, you might never guess that the tall, long haired, tie-dye wearing, bracelet making, Bob Marley fan was interested in anything academic. But you would be wrong.

Eric, for all of his outward perceived hooliganism, is one of the brightest young men I know. When given the material, he is an insatiable reader. We purchased The Hunger Games in Spanish, and Eric had read nearly the whole thing within a few days. And he has conquered books about Christianity, history and other themes with the same voracity. When we think of reward gifts to give the teenagers, we typically think shoes or clothes. But for Eric, we think books.

Eric just completed and passed his eighth grade year of school. He has had a couple of rough moments during the course of the year in which he made bad decisions that resulted in him being kicked out of the building. But no matter if he was inside or out, he always went to school. Because he loves learning.

If you ask Eric what career he wants to pursue, he will tell you archaeology. But we are sure that, if he dedicates himself, Eric could succeed in a variety of fields.

Eric has his ups and downs and struggles with his vices like many of the teens we work with, but he has the capacity to truly outshine his circumstances – if he wants it. Please help us give this special teen a truly special Christmas.