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A Season of Graduation!

It has been an incredible season of graduation at Hope Farm watching four of our students graduate from high school and college as well as two of our moms walk across the stage. Charles Jackson and Eli Madison, two of our high school graduates, have been a part of Hope Farm since they were five years old and have both left an incredible legacy during their time with us of kindness, ingenuity, leadership, and passion.

Charles Jackson

A Season of Graduation!Charles plans to attend Prairie View A&M University and was accepted into the Mechanical Engineering program. Charles said that “when I think of Hope Farm, there are so many good memories, but my favorite memory would have to be the times we went to Kids Across America every summer.” Charles was awarded an internship at Lockheed Martin during his senior year of high school and in 10 years sees himself as a college graduate and building jets back at Lockheed while giving back to his community. When asked about a Hope Farm staff member who made a positive impact in his life, Charles stated that “Mr. Joel Willis made a big difference in my life. Mr. Willis taught me so many lessons. I was not the friendliest, but Mr. Willis stuck with me, and over time helped me to understand that not everyone is against you.”

Eli Madison

A Season of Graduation!During his senior year, Eli Madison has trained to be a truck driver and his plans after high school are to drive trucks and ultimately own his own business. Once his business is thriving, he plans to give back to fatherless boys. Eli’s favorite memory at Hope Farm was the yearly basketball clinics that were held at Tarrant County College before the gym was built on the Morningside Campus. Eli stated that, “Mr. Randle had the mentors talk to us about their experiences growing up without a father and how they made it. I knew seeing someone who looked like me become successful, that one day I would become successful despite not having a father.” Eli said that Mr. Gary Randle made a huge difference in his life “because he never gave up on me. Mr. Randle showed me that with God and faith, you can become anything you want to become. I was a troubled child and Mr. Randle never turned his back on me.” In 10 years, Eli sees himself as a successful businessman married with a loving family.

Derrick Ferguson

Derrick Ferguson, who came to Hope Farm in elementary school, just graduated from Greenville University with a major in Criminal Justice and plans to work in Juvenile Corrections specifically Juvenile Correctional Counseling. Derrick has also not eliminated the possibility of going to law school in the near future. Along with Charles (Class of 2023), Samuel (Class of 2022), and Shamar (Class of 2020), Derrick is working at our summer camp, which was his favorite time at Hope Farm with the free play, fieldtrips, and overnight camping trips. When asked about a staff member who made a difference in his life, Derrick said that “many of the staff played a role in my life and helped shape A Season of Graduation!me into the man I have become. I feel like the person who had to put up with my nonsense the most and devoted so much time to my success was Ms. Susie Sanders, my second mama. I don’t know how she did it, but that woman has copious amounts of patience! God has truly given Ms. Sanders a gift and has shown His light through her over and over again.” Ten years from now, Derrick sees himself “giving back to the youth in some way. Kids are the future and if we can’t tend to our future now ensuring they have everything they need to be successful, then we’re giving up on the future. The foundation begins with the parents, elders, and authoritative figures. If we can’t even lay down a righteous, strong foundation for them, they will fall or sway in a direction they shouldn’t be headed in. So many have planted seeds in my life, so I believe it’s up to me to do the same for those who are up next to assure they have some guidance whether that be through counseling, advocating, or whatever the Lord has in store for me. I wholeheartedly believe that’s my purpose in life!”

Two common themes resonate when talking with all our graduates this year. One is that the Hope Farm staff never gives up on anyone. We are always there during good times and bad. We build our families up and are blessed to walk along side of them during their early years of life. The other theme that is important to recognize is that these young men want to give back – they have service in their hearts and learned that desire from being at Hope Farm for so many years.

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