Photo: Tyraena beams as she accepts her certificate of completion from House Parent Missy Smith and Social Worker Shannon Hartin.
When Tyraena started middle school, she was eager to meet people and make new friends.
She was shocked when her “so-called” friends began to bully her, and she didn’t know where to turn.
“The bullies at school were mean. It really hurt and I was afraid to tell my dad,” says Tyraena, She began hanging out with whatever kids would accept her, and realized too late that they were bad companions.
A Season of Rebellion
Tyraena knew she was feeling lost, but she didn’t know how to ask for help. Like many middle schoolers who are going through emotional turmoil, she lashed out at the people closest to her: her father, stepmother and aunt.
“I made some bad decisions. I got in trouble at school and I didn’t know what to do,” she recalls, her head bowed in embarrassment. “My stepmom and auntie were telling me what I should do and I hit (my auntie) with a broom. I tried to run away, and my father wanted me to go to Juvenile Hall. But then my stepmom came up with the idea to send me to Bethel.”
They Don’t Leave Your Side
“I was scared when I first came to Bethel and didn’t like it, but soon, I loved it. I had loving House Parents who hugged me and encouraged me to keep on trying.
“The best thing about Bethel is they love and support you,” Tyraena says. “They don’t leave your side. They nurture and care for you. At Bethel, they help you be a new person. My life has changed.”
Her Dream Come True
In July 2016, Tyraena graduated from her program at Bethel and was able to reunite with her father. She did such a good job catching up with her studies that she will enter a public high school as a freshman in August – an accomplishment that makes her very proud.
Tyraena says she learned how to deal with bullies, overcome anger and choose positive friends, thanks to the counseling she received at Bethel. For the rest of her life, She will have a connection to her Bethel family and a new approach to dealing with the challenges of life:
“I have learned that if we give things to God, He can work them out in love,” she says with confidence.
If you know a child who has been bullied and headed down a bad path, Bethel Bible Village can help. See admission information
You Can Help Us Change More Lives
Tyraena’s story is more common than we like to think, but most do not end this way. There are several ways you can make a difference.
• Make a donation online, or by texting any amount to (423) 454-4810.
• Help a teen in crisis connect to Bethel
• Pray for our house parents, staff and teachers and the children they care for
• Donate gently used items to the Bethel Thrift Store
Together, we can change lives for teens in crisis and their children, and create a stronger next generation for our community.
READ MORE Success Stories.
This story was updated on July 19, 2018