“I don’t care – I don’t want to be here!”
Those were some of the first words from a child who came to Kurn Hattin several years ago. He was withdrawn, angry, and determined not to stay. He did not want to be away from his family, his home, or his friends. Kurn Hattin was an alien environment that he did not understand, nor did he want to understand it. He acted out, was recalcitrant in his interactions with staff, and was unfriendly to the other children – all from his own (later) admissions. He was not a very pleasant child at first, and this lasted for quite a while. In a more typical independent school, this type of student likely would not have lasted long at the school, but at Kurn Hattin, this is our particular mission.
I watched as this young man, Jacob Edwards (pictured below), stood up in front of the audience at graduation to deliver his Valedictory Address - confident, successful, and comfortable in his life at the Homes and the world. Over the course of five years, he had been transformed, and he was thankful for it! His trajectory in life had indeed been changed by coming to Kurn Hattin.
This is the outcome for which we all strive at the Homes – the gift of childhood being restored, lives changed, and knowledgeable, thankful hearts taking flight for greater success in life! During the hard, uncertain work of daily interactions with children, we maintain optimism because we know these transformations occur, but not all at once. The process of change is often slow, agonizingly so sometimes, and it is almost never on a consistent upward linear path – but it happens. Over and over again, we watch it occur, child by child, and so we continue our endeavors with the confident knowledge that we are doing the most important work in the world – transforming children!
We are fully aware that this requires on-going support from like-minded individuals who provide the resources for each of these singular transformations, and we are thankful. If you are already a donor, please accept our profound gratitude for being a partner in each child’s life here at the Homes! If you have yet to support our children at the Homes, this is the reason to do so!
In service to children,
Stephen B. Harrison,