Letter from Deke’s Father

When Deke found our Louisiana program he was on probation and labeled as “ungovernable” and a “runaway.” His grades were failing, and he was having issues dealing with the trauma he experienced as a child.  

Image of Deke completing school workWith our Wraparound program, Deke has improved tremendously. His GPA has risen to a 3.5 (!) overall, he is participating in extracurricular activities at school, and is even volunteering at his local church, recently serving his first mass. Most importantly, Deke is initiating all these activities on his own because he is genuinely interested in improving himself and the community. 

Deke is the son of Colby. Colby is a single parent who is raising 4 children on his own. Colby is trying to do the best he can for all his children, but he is their only provider.  

Colby wrote a letter for a Success Award, on Deke’s behalf, so Deke could complete driving school. Colby’s love for his son is palpable. Please, read his letter below: 

“I am applying for a Success Award to help pay for my son’s drivers ed course.  

I am a single father, raising four kids. To say our family life hasn’t been easy would be an understatement. I gained custody of Deke in 2016. The transition from Deke’s previous home to mine was very difficult for Deke and my household.  

Deke suffered from issues that stemmed from his previous home that many of us were unaware of. Deke’s mother is a recovering addict, and her house was a dangerous environment for Deke to be in. When he was six Deke was forced to witness his mom being arrested in front of him. 

Taking him out of that environment has had its problems. He lacked the communication skills to relay the many different emotions he was feeling. These feelings ranged from not feeling loved, blaming himself for his mother’s actions, and feeling that he did not belong. 

The only outlet he knew of was to lash out at everyone that was involved in his life. His behavior at home rolled over to his school as well. Deke faced numerous suspensions from school and was on the verge of getting expelled. His academics were D’s and F’s, and he went through several stays at the numerous mental hospitals around Louisiana. Not to mention Deke also had run-ins with the law. 

In 2021, Deke decided to change both his behavior and his way of thinking about things. Deke is now able to talk to me about his feelings and at the same time he can accept consequences when his actions are not correct. He has turned his attitude into a positive one. His academics have improved to being an honor roll student. 

Right now, Deke really wants to get his driver’s license. It is a rite of passage for all kids his age. I am just not able to afford the classes for him. This is important to me in the aspect that I want to be able to show Deke that no matter what someone’s situation is they can always change for the better. It is also a great way to show Deke that I trust him to continue doing the right things and that hard work does not go unnoticed. 

I am the typical guy that has his ego and his pride.  I am setting both aside and I asking y’all if you can help me get this gift for my son. He has worked hard and changed so much, and he really deserves this award! 

Thank you so much.” 

-Colby (Deke’s father) 

Help show young people like Deke that hard work does pay off by donating to Success Awards today! 

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