So many of the children Upbring serves come into our care broken, not just physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. They are children like Ashley*.
Just 11 years old, her young life had been filled with so much hardship and horrific abuse she was virtually paralyzed with trauma. Every grown up she knew had hurt her. She was terrified to try anything new for fear of being beaten if she failed.
When she arrived at Upbring New Life Children’s Center, this brave girl genuinely believed her life was worth a pack of cigarettes and a six pack of beer. Why? Because that’s how much her father traded her for.
At New Life, Ashley benefitted from in-depth clinical therapy that helped her heal from her traumatic past. She also got the education she needed to dream of a brighter future with support from compassionate teachers like Teresa Mitchell.
Ashley started the year three grade levels behind, unable to do basic things like tell time.
“Who cares about telling time when you’re being molested?” Ashley explained.
Math is a gateway to other subjects, so that is where Ashley’s road to academic recovery got its rocky start.
“She was a completely broken child,” Teresa remembered. “She spent the first 30 minutes of math class having a tantrum, and I realized she didn’t even know her multiplication tables.”
Lifted by Teresa’s constant encouragement, Ashley took ownership of her education. Empowered by technology-driven tools, she conquered multiplication, fractions and long division.
By the end of the year, Ashley was achieving at grade-level. Even more remarkable, she told Teresa she wanted to be a math teacher! But that was just the beginning of her success story.
In a letter titled “To My Favorite Teacher,” Ashley explained how Teresa helped her excel inside and outside the classroom.
“Ms. Mitchell instructed me in something books can’t teach you, which is how to succeed in life,” Ashley wrote. “She is one of the reasons I am going to be adopted. A family believed in me because she showed me how to believe in myself.”
Ashley’s success story is just one of hundreds being told at New Life. Because of our generous donors, these young girls are discovering that they are beautiful, strong and worthy of a bright future.
*Ashley’s story is true, but we used a pseudonym and stock photo to protect her identity.