Growing up without a dad.

My father left when I was 2. I always thought he would come back. At 11 I realized he wasn’t. That’s when I stopped caring and started getting in trouble.

joekeith

12 year old Joe

I started acting up and being disrespectful to teachers. This got people to notice me, so I did it more and more. I wasn’t afraid of anyone and I didn’t care about anything, especially my future. One day I was watching a story about prison on TV and I started thinking I wanted to go to prison because it looked fun. I knew I was on the edge. I didn’t want to keep doing this but it had such a tight grip on me. I couldn’t escape myself.

I never felt accepted and I never felt wanted. I just wanted to die and stop bothering everyone.

Then I found Boys to Men, and got a second chance in life. I started going to the groups once a week.  I could see that they cared. I have never felt that before. Like I was cared about and accepted for who I am. I knew these guys had my back.

I’ve wanted and waited for this for so long.

Boys to Men taught me so much and I’m not going to let it go. I know what I want out of life and Boys to Men is helping me get there. I thank my life to Boys to Men. I’m so proud to be in this program. I plan to help a boy when I’m a mentor and give them all the support they need to live their life right.
 
And I’m going to make sure my kids don’t grow up in the same environment as me.”

Joe Ross

6 years later…Watch Joe’s journey from a troubled 12 year old boy to a remarkable 18 year old young man. You will be inspired by Joe’s amazing transformation.