Building into the Future of a Student, by Kathy Couch

Boys are rough, tough and have endless energy.  How do you deal with that in a 17 year-old young man?  Tae-kwon-do.  One young man in our Hope Program, Antonio, has found a great outlet through tae-kwon-do.  He is now in his second year of lessons and just passed his red belt, level one examination.  One component of Back2Back’s Hope Education Program is that we encourage our students to participate in an extracurricular activity.  Many of these students have never had an opportunity to pursue a hobby before.

Antonio was introduced to tae-kwon-do through his college’s team.  After a short time, he grew eager to learn faster so we enrolled him in a tae-kwon-do school.   Apex Church from Ohio offered to partner with Back2Back by funding lessons for Antonio and also soccer lessons for another Hope student, Daniel.  This is a great way to build independence and confidence in a teenage.  After growing up in a children’s home where everything is shared, extracurricular activities teach the student’s independence and how to engage socially.   As we have watched Antonio grow in his craft, travel with his teammates to out of town competitions, and discover the satisfaction of succeeding at something, there is no way you can put a dollar amount on that.  It is indeed priceless.  This will follow him into his adult world where problem solving skills, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships will be crucial.   We are grateful for Apex’s vision to build into a student’s life through Back2Back’s Hope Education Program.

Antonio proudly displays his awards

Through the Hope Education Program, Back2Back offers students from children’s homes a way to continue their education when free public school ends at ninth grade. The students stay on the Back­2Back campus in homes with staff families (house parents), experiencing a healthy family life. Students are mentored, provided with an education, and encouraged to pursue their dreams so that they can become self-sustaining individuals. To learn more about contributing to Back2Back’s Hope Program, please contact our US office at 513-754-0300, ext 1707.