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2013 Baptist Home Grads

Before Colten Fall arrived at the Baptist Home for Children in Monticello last fall, school was not a priority.

“I was never involved in any sports or clubs at school because I never went,” he shared.

But since enrolling at the flagship campus of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes), Fall now has a new outlook on his education.

“I was able to get my GED when I came to the Baptist Home and I’m enrolled this fall at UAM (University of Arkansas at Monticello),” shared Colten. “My prayer is that God will lead me where He wants me to be.”

Colten is one of five high schoolers that overcame many odds and challenges to recently receive their GED or diplomas.

Colten, Anjelique, and Dilan received their GED during a celebration May 23. Tori and Kristena walked across the stage at Monticello High School to receive their high school diplomas May 16.

In recognition of the groups’ accomplishments, they were treated to a beach vacation in Pensacola, Fla., last month. This trip was funded by a grant.

“I am proud of all of our graduates’ accomplishments,” said Randy Luper, Baptist Home campus director. “They persevered, many through difficult circumstances, and achieved their goal. They are not through, however, as they prepare to continue with their training toward their vocational goals”.

Changed lives
All of the graduates agree that the Baptist Home staff was instrumental in helping them reach their graduation day.

Tori Westfall has lived at the Baptist Home since Feb. 29, 2012 as a result of behavior problems. She’s a native of Jonesboro and is the first in her family to graduate from high school.

“Since arriving at the Baptist Home, I’ve completely changed” said Tori. “I am a whole new person.”

This past year, Tori has participated in the 180 Christian Club at Monticello High School. She’s an active member of First Baptist Church of Monticello and has enjoyed taking part in several Christian camps and activities.

In August, Tori will attend Margaret’s Hair Academy in Monticello. She hopes to open her own salon one day.

“Living at the Home has really helped me physically and emotionally in many ways. I don’t think I could ever thank enough the staff and loving people that have been there and will always be there for me.”

Behavioral issues brought Dilan Estes to Monticello last fall. He moved from West Helena after not getting along with his family.

“When I came to the Baptist Home, my first impression was, ‘Wow,’” shared Dilan, adding,“These people are so caring and actually want to help teens grow.”

In a few weeks, Dilan will attend Super Summer Arkansas at Ouachita Baptist University and Centrifuge Camp at Mississippi College, Clinton, Miss.

In August, he will start classes at UAM, where he plans to major in emergency management.

Anjelique came to the Baptist Home  July 9, 2010.  She moved from Paragould with her two siblings.

“At the Home, I have seen what a real family feels like without drugs in my life,” shared Anjelique. “I have made many friends that I have grown to love and care about.”

An active member of First Baptist Church of Monticello, she enjoys reading and hanging out with friends.

In August, she will enroll in welding school.

A native of White Hall, Kristena has lived at the Baptist Home since June 12, 2012. She is also a first generation graduate.

She has shared her testimony several times at Arkansas Baptist churches and events. She plans to pursue a Certified Nursing Assistant license, with dreams of becoming a geriatric nurse.