We’re so proud of our former resident, DeVonte. He left CHT in the summer to join the Marines. He recently graduated from boot camp in San Diego. No one from DeVonte’s family was able to make his graduation, so our marketing coordinator rescheduled her vacation to attend. Sometimes our youth only have our wonderful staff supporting them. DeVonte spoke with us before departing for San Diego.
DeVonte is 19 and grew up in an adopted family with step-siblings in Spring, Texas. His stepmom raised him after his stepdad passed away. He does have a relationship with his biological parents. When he was 18, he was forced to move when his house burned down. “When we moved, my stepmother told me that I had to find my own place to live since I wasn’t in college or the military. She found a new house and then dropped me off at Covenant House,” says DeVonte.
“I was totally out of my comfort zone with all types of people in the shelter, but I came with a plan and a goal to accomplish. I didn’t know what a shelter was, where to start, or how to do anything. I was scared. I just had to let go of my fears and try to find comfort in things. When I met Mr. Bougere, a CHT youth worker, I told him that I liked to draw. He would bring me pencils and papers for art. Another youth worker, Mr. Armstrong aka“Coach”, helped me become more organized. After a few days at Covenant House, I attended my graduation with my stepmom. I was proud of my accomplishment.”
DeVonte took advantage of the many of the opportunities available to CHT youth. “Ms. Collins in the Voc/Ed department helped me build a resume. I attended job readiness training and I was able to get a job.” DeVonte said he was part of Navy ROTC in high school always wanted to go to the Marines. So CHT followed up with his recruiter and helped him with a workout regiment and a plan to gain weight in order to pass physical exams.
“CHT has helped me like a security blanket, by giving me a safe place to go, and people that care for me. I also know that CHT is just a stepping stone – I want to go and then be able to come back and say ‘look what I did, look what I have accomplished!’ Thank you to the Board of Directors and donors – you are giving us the spark that starts our fire. You are giving us a push, and as young adults, we have so much to accomplish.”