I have guardian angels watching over me.
We met for the first time when my family was selected to receive the first House on the Corner. I remember coming to the church to help build the house in the parking lot. I was only 6 when my mom, brother and I first moved into our new home in the Douglas Community. It was a fresh start for us.
We met again when I was struck by a car at the age of eight, and later when I was hit by a train at age eleven.
Despite their careful watch, growing up wasn’t easy. After years of hanging out with the wrong crowd, and on the verge of going to juvenile detention, I knew that it was time to stop being the kid that was always in getting into trouble. I started playing football and made new in friends in hopes to change my ways. I looked to my Project Hope family for guidance. That’s where I met my mentor Chris Matthews. Every Friday for the past five years Chris has come to my school to eat lunch with me, talk about my life and steer me in the right direction.
When I started making some bad decisions again, Chris and Missy Wilkinson enrolled me in School on Sunday. That’s where I met my tutor, Ann Tomaselli. I felt that God brought these amazing people to my life to bring me the hope, to show me there were people who care for me and encourage me to keep fighting this complicated world through the good and the bad. I have met my angels first hand.
Thanks to the help of my CUMC family, I will walk across the graduation stage with my high school diploma this June, and plan to attend college in the fall. I don’t know how I got to this point in my life. Well actually I do- it began the moment this church gave my family a home 13 years ago. I will always be grateful for the help and support that my family and I have been given by this church. I don’t know how to show my gratitude, but I know that I will not let these people down.
Mark received the “Courage of the Wildcat Award for Overcoming Obstacles” and will graduate from Plano Senior High School in June of 2017. Congratulations Mark!