Brandon White came to Boys Farm in 1998, and at 12 years old was already very behind academically and struggled with his temper. He describes himself then as "confused, lonely, and desperate; I wanted to feel secure, to just be a regular kid." Brandon is now a Senior at Newberry High School, a very bright young man with a promising future ahead of him. Brandon will graduate from Newberry High School in May and plans to attend college in the fall. He doubled up on his course load and took distance learning courses through the University of South Carolina, enabling him to complete all the requirements for graduating with a College Preparatory Diploma in only three years. On top of this heavy academic load, Brandon has been actively involved in the JROTC program and has also worked part time, using his income to purchase his own vehicle and to pay for his own insurance, gas, and repairs.
He has shown dedication and responsibility with both his work and education, and we are very proud of the independence he has achieved these past years. Brandon has applied to several colleges and hopes to be a part of an ROTC program, eventually becoming an officer in the Military.
A very big part of Brandon's success here at Boys Farm is due to the influence of living in a family environment… "I love and look up to my house parents as if they were my true parents. Mr. Mike and I used to do all kinds of stuff together, like playing sports, fixing things, etc… Rebecca being a woman showed affection in a different way. She always gave us hugs and told me that she loved me. The both of them affected me in a way I can't quite explain. When I have a family of my own one day, everything I have learned from these two people will influence me on how to discipline and treat my own family."
Jonathan Wooten also came to Boys Farm in 1998 and had been in and out of several foster homes before coming here. He was in remedial classes and had problems with submission to authority. He has made great progress in both areas during his time here. A respectful and hard-working young man, Jonathan is now an A/B student and will graduate in May with a College Preparatory Diploma. Our resident sports enthusiast, Jonathan has played recreational basketball and soccer, and has played tennis and soccer at Newberry High School as well. He enjoys playing almost every sport, and has even helped manage younger teams. He also plans to attend college in the fall and is interested in majoring in Physical Education. In addition to maintaining his studies and extracurricular activities, Jon works part time and is saving his money for a vehicle and college expenses.
In July of 2002 Jonathan decided to try a new group home in Spartanburg to be closer to his two brothers and some very close family friends. In a matter of weeks, Jon realized he wanted to come back to Boys Farm. "I left because I wanted to try something new, but I soon realized what I had left behind. Boys Farm is more family oriented, I had made a true connection with my house family that is important to me and will never leave me." The shift workers could not offer the same love, constancy, and sense of belonging that Jon was used to at Boys Farm. It was a six month process for Jon to get back here, and we are incredibly grateful for the wonderful and integral part of our home that he has been!