At the age of 15, Raven entered into a world of uncertainty when she came to live at Methodist Children’s Home. Although her grandmother gave Raven a lot of love and support, she hoped MCH would provide her granddaughter with more opportunities to succeed.
“I remember when I first came to MCH, I would always tell myself that I can’t change the life I’ve been given, but I can change the way I live it,” Raven said.
Raven excelled at MCH and graduated early from high school at Rapoport Academy in December 2014. She took college courses at McLennan Community College the next semester, all before her 18th birthday. That summer, she moved into her own apartment and continued her education, but admits she became disconnected from MCH. During this time, Crystal Anthony, Transition Services (TS) coordinator, periodically reached out to Raven to offer support.
Anthony began working with Raven as she completed her associate’s degree in general academics. She received the Albaugh Scholarship through MCH and enrolled in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English with a writing studies emphasis. She is now a published author, with several poems included in a literary journal at MCC, and she was recently chosen to participate in Corpus Christi’s writer’s anthology. Raven maintains a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate in May 2020.
“When given opportunities, she takes full advantage and works really hard,” Anthony said. “She is always very thankful. She really takes pride in her education and in her life.”
Anthony and Raven continue to discuss her post-graduation plans. Raven intends to look for a job in Waco so she can help care for her grandmother. She understands that creative writing, her passion, may not pay the bills at first, but she hopes to utilize her education and talent in a beneficial way.
“I want to make an impact wherever I am,” Raven said. “I hope what I do will expand someone else’s way of thinking, their knowledge and their compassion for other people. That’s my goal when I’m writing.”
Raven said in addition to her positive relationship with her grandmother, MCH played a major role in her success by giving her opportunities she might not have had otherwise.
“The entire Methodist Children’s Home experience changed my life,” Raven said. ”My grandma wasn’t in a position to give me the kind of care I needed but I got that at MCH. I don’t think I would have had the support to do what I’m doing today without the help of MCH and TS. It’s immeasurable.”
Through her experiences, Raven gained perspective on dealing with adversity.
“As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that I can’t control every circumstance in my life, and I can’t control every person,” she said. “But I’m in control with what I choose to do with my life and how I choose to interact with people. If I can have an impact on someone, then I would like to do so.”