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Baptist Home residents receive high school diplomas

Skipping school was a common occurrence for Justin Roberts prior to arriving at the Baptist Home for Children in 2011.But since enrolling at the flagship campus of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes), Roberts now has a new outlook on his education.

“I am thankful for getting the opportunity to have a second chance in school,” said Roberts.  

Roberts and fellow resident Caitlyn Bradley were among the high school seniors that walked across the stage at Monticello High School (MHS) to receive their high school diplomas May 13.
In recognition of the duo’s accomplishments, a reception was held in their honor May 5 at the Baptist Home. Roberts also took part in a graduation trip to Pensacola, Fla., last month.

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

The duo both agree that the Baptist Home staff was instrumental in helping them reach their graduation day.

Family problems brought Bradley to the Baptist Home Aug. 8, 2008. A native of Jonesboro, Bradley graduated with honors from MHS, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Speech and Drama Clubs, Library Club, Anime Club and the French Club. She was also part of the MHS Madrigals, Dance Team, Basketball Team and Archery Team.

During her time in Monticello, Bradley has served as a campus ambassador and given her testimony at many churches. Her favorite activity at the Home is the Horse Program.
She was among eight residents of the Baptist Home that traveled to southeastern Brazil in June 2012 to take part in a 10-day mission trip.
She’s an active member of First Baptist Church of Monticello and has enjoyed taking part in several Christian camps and activities.  

Bradley says she has many great memories of her time at the Home, including beach trips to Florida, Super Summer Camp and the Brazil Mission trip.
In August, Bradley will attend Ozarka College in Ash Flat. She plans to pursue a degree in Science Technology and Computer Engineering.

A native of El Dorado, Roberts said he will be forever grateful for the Home and especially his houseparents. “My favorite memory of the Home is all of my houseparents that stuck with me until the end,” he said. “I also found Jesus Christ.”

Roberts attended First Baptist Church of Monticello where he was a member of the youth group.
He was one of 15 models that took part in the first ever ABCHomes Modeling for a Miracle Fashion Show this past March. The Show raised nearly $50,000 that will help in the construction of a new Family Home for boys at the Baptist Home for Children in Monticello.

Recently, Roberts was presented the “Friendship Award” during the annual Home Awards Banquet. Recipients are chosen by their peers.
In August, he will start classes at Arkansas State University in Beebe, where he plans to major in Architecture. He hopes to one day, “Make lots of money doing what I love.”