young girl with curly hair smilingBefore she came to Thornwell, Ava missed more than 30 days of school. She eventually refused to go at all and kicked and screamed at her mother when she woke her up in the mornings.

Ava told her mother and school guidance counselor that she was being bullied at school, but they didn’t believe her. Ava lived in a filthy house, and kids at school made fun of the way she looked and smelled. Even kids years younger than Ava made fun of her. Ava was so self-conscious about her appearance that she wore a sweatshirt that was two sizes too big to cover up.

One of her family teachers said that Ava was the quietest and most scared child he’d ever seen when she arrived at Thornwell. And, no, she didn’t want to go to school her first morning at Thornwell. Her family teachers tried to get her up with the rest of the kids, but she stayed in bed and missed the bus. Her family teachers had to drive her to school.

On the way to school, Ava’s family teacher talked to her about making good choices. He couldn’t hide his disappointment in Ava. But that’s when the change in Ava took place: she was happy her family teacher cared so much about her to be disappointed.

All Ava needed in her life was somebody who cared.

Ava didn’t miss the bus or another day of school after that. And she doesn’t wear oversized sweatshirts either. She gets in the pool like all the other kids and as talkative as any 12-year-old girl. And she’s established herself as a leader in her cottage.

Sometimes all we need is somebody who cares.

Help a Child Like Ava Today

Children like Ava are the children you help when you give to Thornwell. Please visit our Giving Grid for a fun way you can make a difference today.