You create second chances for teenagers like Brad
Everyone deserves a second chance.
Brad Farrell found his second chance at Vera Lloyd.
Brad, 17, is from south Arkansas, where he lived with his mother and stepfather.
He grew up celebrating holidays, visiting his grandmother, working in his stepfather’s lawn care business and spending time with his sister.
Like many teenagers, he started breaking rules at home. He smoked marijuana and refused to do his chores. He missed curfew. He and his former girlfriend had a baby together. Today, his son is a year old and lives with his mother.
He started smoking pot when he was 12. Even though he was involved in sports and earned good grades, his began to lose interest in those activities.
He was arrested on minor drug convictions. Last time, he was charged with intent to distribute marijuana.
He spent eight days at a Juvenile Detention Center. He was thankful to learn he would spent the remaining two months of his detention at Vera Lloyd as a resident of the Lewis Home.
At Vera Lloyd, he said, “We have good meals, I can continue my education and I have visitation with my family.”
He likes his teachers and appreciates that they are helping him earn high school credits and stay on a path to graduation. He’s doing better at math and enjoys social studies and science, especially the hands-on experiments.
He has been doing well in school and has benefited from counseling, including substance abuse counseling.
“Counseling has helped me overcome some of my anger about my father being absent in my life. It’s also helped me realize what a dead-end it is to use drugs. I understand that I need to make new friends and make smarter decisions when I return home,” Farrell said.
His house parents, Ashley and Robert, have been wonderful to him. He says he wouldn’t want any other house parents. The have helped teach him coping skills and how to stay calm.
At the Lewis Home, he is responsible for chores every day. He does his homework, plays sports and visits with the other boys. He shares a bathroom with four boys and says he stays on top of them all to keep it clean.
“I had it good. I just made bad choices. I have to face the consequences.”
He will return home in December and graduate in May. He will work to make new friends, not use drugs and be a role model for his son. He’ll work for his stepdad in lawn care.
He plans to earn a degree in welding.
His goal? He wants to work as a welder on an oil rig in Texas.
Brad will make that goal a reality.