a dark-haired teenage boy smilesThe oldest of seven children, Jeremy became the man of the house when he was eleven years old. His father was absent, and his mother was addicted to gambling. She used any money she made to support her gambling addiction. Meanwhile, Jeremy appointed himself to keep his six brothers and sisters safe and fed.

Jeremy spent so much time caring for his siblings that he didn’t have much time left for his school work. And the end of the day, he was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. As a result, he could barely read in the sixth grade and was making all F’s.

Jeremy Gets the Help He Needs

Eventually, the school intervened for the family, and Jeremy, along with his brothers and sisters, came to live at Thornwell. Here, their basic needs were met, without Jeremy having to be the one to do it. Once he felt confident his brothers and sisters were taken care of, he was able to focus on his school work.

Thornwell’s Learning Center staff and Jeremy’s family teachers helped him catch up in reading. Within months, Jeremy was making straight A’s. He gained two grade levels through his hard work and the coaching of caring adults at Thornwell.

When he arrived here, Jeremy could hardly read. In one summer at Thornwell, he completed The Lord of the Rings, a challenging book for any eighth grader.