Bako’s* smile lights up every room he walks into. He is always grinning, but for a long time, behind his cheerfulness was a quiet struggle with self-confidence. He is a young man who struggles to express himself, especially around new people. His lack of confidence has also led to difficulty asking for help in school. Still, he smiles everywhere he goes.
Staff took notice of his struggle, and his caregiver got an idea. “I started having one-on-one conversations with him in the evenings,” shared Timkat, Back2Back staff. The conversations flowed easily, as Timkat is a safe adult in Bako’s life. Timkat took his time asking questions and answering any Bako had, and finally he gave the young man a small challenge. “I want you to write something you’re passionate about,” he told Bako. “And tomorrow evening when we meet, I want you to give me a casual presentation about your passion.”
The following night, Bako presented for Timkat, and the atmosphere was fun. Bako’s passion shone through, and he sailed through the presentation, much to Timkat’s delight. “I realized he’d never been asked to share about something he cared deeply about, but now we know exactly what he is capable of,” he shared.
Since their evening chats and his small presentation, Bako engages in conversation more, expressing himself boldly, and giving God the glory. This is the power of just one safe adult in the life of a vulnerable teen – cycles are broken and children are able to move from positions of fear to walking in their confidence.