Jaelyne knows what it takes to succeed. His personality and ambition are driving him to build a better life for himself. He has come a long way since arriving at Methodist Children’s Home in 2013 at age 13.
Jaelyne was raised by his great-grandmother, but when she passed away in 2007, his care was left to family members. He was bouncing between his aunt’s and grandmother’s homes but they were having trouble finding afterschool care for him, and his behavior had become an issue.
When Jaelyne arrived on the Waco campus, he didn’t like it at first. However, he grew close with staff and started to appreciate the stability and benefits he received through the program. After a year at MCH, his grandmother invited him to come back home to live with her. However Jaelyne knew it would be hard on her and that he had a great opportunity at MCH.
“Why go home when I knew MCH would set me up for success?” he said.
In May 2018, Jaelyne graduated as valedictorian of his class at the MCH charter school and earned scholarships for college from MCH. During his senior year of high school, Jaelyne prepared well for life after high school. He saved money for a car and proved his responsibility, making him eligible to advance to the second level of the Independent Living program at MCH and move directly into off-campus apartments rather than starting out in the on-campus housing. The Independent Living program provides support for recent MCH graduates as they attend college or work.
“I feel like MCH changed some things for me because whenever I was younger I was a little bad,” he said. “MCH gave me a foundation. I didn’t have either one of my parents in my life, so I got really close with some of the staff and they were like family. So it felt great to get a foundation; a home.”
He now works full time at a job in downtown Waco while also attending classes full time at McLennan Community College. He receives support from MCH Transition Services (TS) staff including Crystal Anthony, who helps him navigate college and his responsibilities.
“Jaelyne has done really well with time management and reaching his goals,” Anthony said. “Once he has his mind set on something, that’s where he is going. He will have a plan.”
Jaelyne appreciates the encouragement he receives from Anthony.
“Ms. Crystal has always been in my corner,” he said. “She makes sure I stay on top of my grades and up-to-date on forms, and she is constantly pushing me toward new goals.”
Jaelyne is studying social work and has a desire to serve others. He said he could see himself returning to MCH or a similar organization to help young people facing challenges like he did. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University after completing his associate’s degree in fall 2020. He maintains a good attitude and is focused on his future.
“Failure is not an option,” Jaelyne said. “What drives me so much to do what I do is I feel like the world has a lot of negativity, and if I can be positive, maybe I could change someone’s perspective. Why be darkness in someone’s life when I can be the light?”