Student Spotlight: 8th Grader Tashawn
“Before Tashawn came to the program, he used to goof around a lot and didn’t know when to turn it on or turn it off,” said Ernest Prempeh, Acts4Youth’s Game Plan to Manhood Program Director. “Now he has a great sense of self-control, and shows other kids responsibility. If he makes a mistake, and I provide a consequence, he will use that to talk to other kids in the program about choices and consequences.“
As an example of Tashawn’s new sense of self-control and restrained anger, Ernest told about a night when Tashawn and another boy were the only two students left in the van after the other kids were dropped off and they started bickering. “They went back and forth for a little while. Finally, Tashawn said, ‘I’m not going to keep arguing with you, because there is no benefit to going back and forth.’ After that the argument immediately stopped.”
Ernest says that his biggest takeaway from working with Tashawn and other students in Acts4Youth is how important it is for students to have positive influences in their lives. Ernest grew up without his dad, and so did many students in the program, including Tashawn. Ernest is able to see how being in Tashawn’s life is helping him to grow, and feels it is crucial that he be a positive influence on him. Tashawn watches Ernest’s every move, and for Ernest to do lessons with him and counsel him, he has to be sure to live it too. Ernest says that he is challenged everyday to live what he preaches.
When Tashawn was asked how God is working in his life, he replied:
“He is helping me communicate more and play around less. After going to Acts4Youth, I put my belief in God and trusted him. He has helped me a lot…. We had a lesson about what we would be doing right now if we didn’t trust and believe in God,” he explained. “I sat there and thought about it; I’d probably be in trouble somewhere in a deep situation that I can’t get out of. That lesson helped me because it made me really want to change. And I did. And I’m still changing right now.”
With Tashawn’s newfound trust in Christ and his increased sense of self-worth, Tashawn is learning to live out his faith and continue growing into a man with strength of character and leadership abilities.
Julia Higham, who authored this article, is Acts4Youth’s communications intern this semester. She is finishing her final semester at Towson University where she is a mass communications major.