<p>Chuck (L) and Friend José reconnect over school photos and keepsakes</p>

August 02, 2022

Breaking Generational Cycles

A program grad pays it forward to his children

During his 15 years with Friends of the Children, Friend José has mentored many boys, including “Chuck,” who lived through abuse and foster care. Today, Chuck works locally as a restaurant shift manager and takes classes toward a medical career.

“I grew up seeing José as a role model, which is what I needed in my life then,” Chuck said. “José taught me a lot of life skills, introduced me to new experiences, gave me a break from hard things at home, helped me with schoolwork . . . He got me where I needed to be to be successful.”

Maybe most heart-warming is that Chuck has created his own healthy family and is proud to share with his two children what he learned from Jose, from fishing skills to “patience and love . . . and life’s more positive things.”

Said Chuck’s wife, “I’m so glad this program exists and he had it in his life – and also so glad my children don’t need it.”

Chuck’s story illustrates the success possible when professional mentors empower youth to break generational cycles.