Our Scholar's Testimonial
When you’re taught from a young age to settle for less, nine times out of ten that’s what you’ll get. This was the reality for Justin, one of our scholars. Born and raised in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans, Justin didn’t have the support and encouragement of friends and family that so many of us take for granted. Settling for less is what he knew.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Justin and his family lost what little they had. They moved in to a trailer park with other Katrina victims and began the uphill battle to rebuild their lives.
Sr. Judith Braun, an advocate of Boys Hope Girls Hope, met Justin while working with other Katrina victims in his trailer park. She saw something special in Justin and recommended him for the Boys Hope Girls Hope program. Justin was accepted, but the transition to a structured environment was tough. At one point on his journey, he left the program but returned with the encouragement and support of his new found mentors.
At Boys Hope, Justin was able to see a better side of life; one filled with morals, integrity, stability and love. He was enrolled in private schools that offered better opportunities and an environment where he could thrive.
On May 18, 2013 Justin graduated from Catholic High School, making him the first person in his family to complete high school. With ULL in his sights, Justin plans to work this summer until he leaves for college to pursue a master’s degree in engineering. That will make him the first person in his family to attend college.
For so many people, loss was the only gain from Hurricane Katrina. But for Justin, Katrina was a blessing in disguise.