I met 17 year old Jack (a pseudonym) about a month ago. He has been incarcerated for 5 months and was recently transferred to the juvenile tier at the Baltimore County Detention Center. He is well spoken, thoughtful and curious.
During a recent Impending Class we were discussing mentors and who these boys follow. Jack sat quietly as the class proceeded but finally interjected, “Sometimes I just don’t know who to follow, I have been looking for a Father figure all of my life.” My heart breaks for this intelligent young man who should be in the 11th grade playing sports, learning to love knowledge, and meeting pretty girls but his choices have left him sitting in this jail.
There is no doubt that this young man has done something wrong and that he must now face the consequence of his actions but what portion of these choices are directly related to the lack of a man in his life who cares about him?
At unCUFFED, we can’t change Jack’s past but we can do our best to influence his future. Strong men of faith (George, Jonathan, Mike, Dan and I) will be meeting with Jack regularly while he is incarcerated and I’ll be mentoring him when he is released. We are building a relationship with him that is foreign to him, a man who cares about him and wants to be involved in his life. We are earning his trust, walking with him, and speaking truth into his life.
Pray for this kid; that his heart remains soft, he learns to seek guidance and trust others. Mostly, that this incarceration is a clarion call that commences a new walk for him.