Anthony comes from a difficult family situation. Having never known his father, he grew up largely alone with his mother working round the clock to afford a living for five children. Anthony has been at the Ranch for six months and has shown tremendous changes, succeeding in school, work, and becoming a friendly, gentle and pleasant young man.
When my grandfather told me that he had cancer, it was the worst moment of my life. My grandfather took my mother, brothers and me in when I was a baby. A two bedroom house with three kids and a single mom. I look back on everything he has done for me and I cry because I know I will be losing him.
My mom worked all the time. When I came home from school she was never there. If I had a concert or a basketball game at school, she couldn’t make it. My friends had cool parents who were always there, new shoes, video games, everything I wanted but never had because we couldn’t afford anything, my mom had to pay the bills.
I felt like I wasn’t good enough for my family. I didn’t have any attention so I felt like it was my fault, so I started acting out and getting into trouble at school. When I turned 14, I really changed in a bad way. I started gang banging, smoking, and robbing everything I could get my hands on. That summer I did over 15 robberies. Then the law caught up with me. I was sent away to a group home. I was still doing drugs though, and they were having a major affect on my life. I knew if my robbery and drug charges stuck, my life would be ruined because I’d never be able to get a good job. I was realizing my decisions were only hurting me.
Back then I saw the world as all about me. I didn’t care about living or dying. Today, this has changed. I see the world as a gift now. I look back on what I used to do and think I’ll never do them again. You can’t see it, but inside me there is a big difference. I came to the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch for robbery, and now I live to help others and do well in school. I’m also building my relationships back with my loved ones and getting their trust back. I used to have a bad heart, but now I feel better about myself. The change came from being locked up in jail, then finding God while here at THCR.
One of the best days I’ve had was just a few days ago, on December 11th, when my mom told me she was proud of me for changing my behaviors. Everyday the staff and residents here encourage me to push myself and help me when I need them. I really feel loved now when I go home on Saturday and Sunday for home visits and my two little sisters come and hug me when I walk in the door. They say they love me, and I love them.
I had to get my life together because I was headed into a hole that I wouldn’t be able to ever get out of, and no one could have helped me. I’m grateful to be here."