JaVaughn doesn’t pull any punches when he talks about the issues that brought him to Bethel.
“I didn’t like authority figures, had trust issues, was on drugs, and in trouble,” he says. But there were other factors that led him there. “I was the only son left at home with my mom and felt I had to make money to take care of her. I had to grow up too fast.”
A Second Chance
JaVaughn would have wound up behind bars if he didn’t change course. His probation officer gave him the hope and help he needed, by referring him to Bethel. At first, it was a tough choice to accept.
“When I came to Bethel, I didn’t like anyone in the cottage. I felt like they didn’t care so I stayed in my room, was sad and depressed,” he recalls. “After I was here for a few weeks, I realized I was in a safe environment and I could just be a kid.”
That safe environment included a basketball court for exercise, a family-style home, and house parents who treated him in a way he’d never experienced before.
“My house parents ‘Pops’ and Ms. Stacey helped me in so many ways,” JaVaughn says. “Ms. Stacey and I talked a lot and I learned that everybody wasn’t out to get me. I didn’t have to always be on guard. ‘Pops’ talked about how a man should live and I learned by watching what he did and how he lived.”
Finding a Way Through Faith
“When I first got here, I didn’t have a real faith, then one day in my room I realized I was going down the same path, nothing had changed,” JaVaughn notes. “I went to church that next week and accepted Christ. Now I pray every day and depend on God.”
Today, JaVaughn is preparing to leave Bethel with new tools to help cope with situations, a new attitude about life and a new relationship with Jesus.
“People should come to Bethel instead of going to juvenile,” JaVaughn advises. Being here taught me to trust, set goals, and just relax. My grades are much better and I make all A’s and B’s. My goal is to go to college, become a chef and open my own restaurant. At Bethel, they care about you, love you and want the best for you.”