Seeing and Supporting Growing Talents

Mar 5, 2019

Steph Duff

Children’s names have been changed to protect identities.

The children’s home staff had been watching fifteen-year old Marcus for a couple weeks. Although he is one of the quieter boys in the home, as the eldest, he leads the others with integrity and thoughtfulness. When he has down time or struggles to focus, you’ll find him doodling in the margin of notebooks or on the back of napkins. However, the adults noticed he was accomplishing more than small doodles. He was creating art.

“When we talked to him about his talents, he expressed interest in becoming an architect,” shared Jordan McNulty, Back2Back Staff. “Together, the caregivers and I made a plan to surprise Marcus with a really special gift for his birthday.” Jordan and the caregivers went to work creating a large art kit for Marcus. Pastels, charcoal, sketch pads, colored pencils, and so much more went into a large box – allowing Marcus to create more intentionally. 

The time came for all the boys and staff at the home to celebrate Marcus turning 15. He sat in an office chair in front of everyone and was presented with the art kit. He looked at the kit quizzically before opening the lid, peering down at all his new art tools. Marcus peered up slowly at the adults in front of him. He asked quietly, “Wait, is this all for me?” He quickly turned his chair away, so he wasn’t facing everyone and pulled his hood up over his head. When he turned back around, a huge grin lit up his face. He picked up different materials and considered each one thoughtfully, as he thanked those around him.

The monthly generosity of child sponsors affords special gifts like Marcus’s art kit to remind every boy and girl their talents are not only seen, but supported. Learn more about sponsoring a child with Back2Back at

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dog, Telulah. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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