Josh came to us just as we were officially launching our job training program at Braking Cycles. Josh was 18 years old and fighting like crazy to finish high school. Josh felt quite lost in many ways, but losing his best friend to a drug overdose, was just too much to bear.
Scenarios like this in young people’s lives are far too common these days. We know many just like Josh. With the flood of destructive choices, shattered homes, available drugs, social media and all the pressures that come with it, and outright predators who seek out vulnerable teens, many are lost in these pivotal years. With no exaggeration at all, for some, this is a battle of life and death. We know we have a small window of opportunity to reach them, and this becomes what we fight for.
A big part of our housing program, as well as our job training program at Braking Cycles is tapping into dreaming of what a future could look like, and then giving the practical tools to get there. This often times is where we see breakthrough happen.
You may have noticed our new tagline: Inspire Vision, Unlock Potential, Equip to Advance. If we could provide opportunities for the youth to dream beyond their circumstances, show them they have gifts and talents inside of them, and show them they CAN break through the impossibilities of their lives, we are tapping into the very heart of God for their lives!!
The job training at Braking Cycles provide some of those first baby steps to dreaming…
We spent time with Josh and asked him to dream forward and choose jobs he would like to learn more about. Josh was quick to say he wanted to be a lawyer or a pilot! So, along with his time in job training at Braking Cycles, we set out to find opportunities for job shadowing. We found an attorney, a helicopter pilot and a judge by the name of Judge Tom Kohl. All three spent time with Josh as he interviewed them and learned more about their careers. The pilot actually took Josh for a flight up in his helicopter!
As much as Josh learned in the job training program, he learned more about himself. He learned it will be a long journey forward. He learned it will require a lot of hard work. He learned the time and hard work are worth it. He learned he’s worth it.
Today we are celebrating this young man’s college graduation from Western University! Josh has his degree in Psychology, and has decided, because of his own painful journey as a teen, there are many more like him who need to have someone to talk to, and someone who can tell them of their worth too. Josh has decided to pursue counseling to help young people like him. Josh dreams now of having his own practice, and we have no doubt at all he will get there.
Please join us in congratulating this amazing young man! Josh, we are so proud of you!!!