Elijah & Oscar

Connection and community are integral parts of our mission at Covenant House Texas, and we’ve seen time and again what a young person can achieve when they are able and willing to reach out for help. Elijah and Oscar are prime examples of how beneficial friendship and connection can be for personal and professional growth.  
Ten years before they arrived at Covenant House Texas, Elijah and Oscar were building a friendship based on a shared love of sports while attending the same school. Difficult life circumstances for each of them led to separate paths, but the two stayed in touch throughout the years. It wasn’t until Oscar found himself at Covenant House Texas in November 2022, following the loss of his brother, best friend and grandmother in just a few months. The overwhelming grief contributed to physical and mental health struggles, which led him to reach out to Elijah to ask him to come to Houston. Having relocated to Houston to improve their life circumstances, both young men credit their introduction to Covenant House Texas as the turning point in their lives.  

“It really keeps me motivated being around other youth who have a similar background and even staff who came from a hard background,” said Oscar. “Being around others who have gone through difficult things like I have has inspired me to aim higher in my own life.”  

Initially hesitant about Covenant House Texas, Elijah admits he struggled when he first arrived as he was not used to opening up to others or asking for help. But after the first few weeks, he admits, “Coming here gave me more focus, more time and more resources. I didn’t want to live the way I was living before I got here, and being here helped me realize that.”  

Both Elijah and Oscar agree that developing friendships while at Covenant House Texas is an important part of the experience. “A lot of us don’t have people, but so many of the other youth want to be your people, they want to be your family, and it really can help,” Elijah added. He refers to it as the mastermind method, where more minds working together can help reach a common goal.  

Reuniting at Covenant House Texas has been a driving force behind the two friends’ commitment to getting their lives back on track. Elijah is currently taking classes to get his Commercial Driver License (CDL), while Oscar is studying accounting at Houston Community College to prepare himself for entrepreneurial pursuits. Both young men currently work at a local golf entertainment business to grow their savings while pursuing their careers.   

As they prepare for life beyond Covenant House Texas, the two want to help as many young people as possible and have put their creative and business acumen to support their fellow Covenant House Texas peers. They have developed a program for other Covenant House Texas youth to advocate for themselves, calling it a Success Fair, where each youth will prepare a trifold display that shares their story and goals, along with what steps they are taking to make those goals a reality.  

“I’ve noticed a lot of youth don’t believe success is possible,” said Oscar. “Our goal is not only to connect these youth with mentors that can help them pursue their dreams, but also show them that success is a real and tangible goal for them.”

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