Damien is a 14-year-old boy who has spent 11 years in foster care. When Damien was matched with a Love Box group through Austin Angels, he had lived in 17 different foster placements––changing schools frequently. He struggled to make friends, performed poorly in his classes, and got into trouble regularly. He had a low self esteem and trouble building relationships in his foster home at the time. Damien was struggling overall, and the idea of making good grades in order to try out for the football team was not in his plan.
At one of his first meetings with his Love Box group, Damien explained that he wanted to try out for the football team, but had never been able to achieve the passing grades required to join. His Love Box volunteers responded by providing him new school clothes, shoes, a backpack, and school supplies. They also wrote him a note of encouragement and asked him to read the note every morning. The note contained a message reminding Damien that they believed in him and cared for him, and encouraged him to take responsibility for his future. The volunteers showed up consistently, spent time with Damien, asked questions, offered advice, and took a genuine interest in his life. Within six months of being matched with his Love Box group, Damien proudly displayed his newest report card––which boasted of his straight A’s in every course. This was the first time that Damien had ever passed all of his classes! As a result, Damien’s outlook shifted from one of failure and disappointment, to one of success and greater confidence in his abilities.
Damien is now making straight A’s, attaching for the first time in his life to friends, his foster parent, and his Love Box group––who have been by his side, encouraging his growth, every step of the way. He is an all-star football athlete and has the dream to become a professional NFL player one day!
Damien’s foster mom, Esther writes…
“Your program has not only changed Damien’s life but you have also changed my life. Your program ensures that my family gets everything we need in order to continue to be a successful placement. Damien has attached to us, makes better grades in school and looks forward to his future for the first time in his life.”