A story of a families’ love and commitment started more than 20 years ago when a young couple brought their adopted child home from Korea at six months old. Sadly, as the story continues there are many chapters of fear, frustration and heartache as their little developmentally delayed Korean boy battled anger and aggression issues. The committed parents tried everything but couldn’t raise their child on their own, they knew they needed help. After many years and attempts at treatment and therapy they found their way to Hoyleton and in January of 2019 they placed their teenaged boy into our residential treatment program. The journey of love and commitment continued, this time from Hoyleton staff, and on June 9, 2022 Jared walked out of Hoyleton, with his mother and the confidence and life skills needed to live a new much more stable life.
Jared’s parents were so thankful for the love and support the Hoyleton staff provided to their troubled son that they came back to residential campus and threw a party for the staff to say thank you for everything they did for their son. Jared’s mother Ann said the change is Jared is “unbelievable” she believes it would not have been possible without Hoyleton’s programs, therapy and supportive environment.
One of the highlights of the party that day was both staff and clients getting to watch Jared proudly drive his mother’s vehicle around the block! This accomplishment showed Jared’s focus and dedication to learning new skills coupled with the encouragement and perseverance given to him by his parents, teachers and Hoyleton staff. It was a proud moment for so many who played a part in helping Jared grow.
Life with Jared was not easy before his time at Hoyleton. His mother explained that from about age 5 Jared was angry, aggressive and over-powering. As the years went by Jared’s anger issues escalated and it was more and more difficult for his parents to contain or discipline him for this type of behavior. They became fearful for their safety and his which prompted them to search out resources for support. Jared was in and out of treatment facilities for most of his life without much improvement. At one point when he was 16-years-old he was put into a mental hospital because that seemed to be the only place for him, but then Jared’s family found Hoyleton.
Jared arrived at Hoyleton at the beginning of 2019 and from the start it seemed like a good fit. Anthony “Amp” Smith was one of the first direct care workers he met. Anthony quickly recognized Jared as a guy who liked to work and was motivated to make money. “He really wanted to have his own XBOX and TV, so I helped him find one online and I told him what he needed to do to make enough money to get it and Jared went right to work,” Anthony said. Jared worked around the grounds on the Hoyleton campus, he worked at the Goodwill store in Nashville and also spent time working at his school’s workshop. Jared saved up his wages and got his XBOX and TV but he was still motivated to work and make money so Anthony talked to him about saving half of this paycheck and planning what to buy next with the other half. Jared took to this idea and as a result he is leaving Hoyleton with $1800 in the bank plus a good understanding of budgeting his money and goal setting. “I am so proud of him,” said Anthony. “He really listened to what I said and stayed motivated, he was a great worker too. I’m going to miss him,” Anthony added.
When Jared wasn’t working at one of his jobs he was working on himself and his behavior. “I have learned to make choices that help me,” Jared said. One of his counselors said, “he has worked on how to express excitement in a way that does not intimidate his parents.” Jared is very proud of his progress and often asks his mother if there are other things he needs to work on. Jared says he will stay motivated because he is happy to now be living so close to his parents again so he can see them regularly.
Jared is going to miss all his friends and counselors at Hoyleton but he has a lot to look forward to. He is moving into a group home through CILA and will live just 20 minutes from his parents. His Mom is a nurse and has worked it out so she can be his caregiver. “I will listen to what she says as my Mom and my Nurse,” Jared said.
In one of the workshops at the Bridges school, where he attended while at Hoyleton, Jared learned to cook. His specialties are spaghetti and mac & cheese and he can’t wait to make dinner for his Mom and Dad. Jared says he will stay busy this summer mowing his parents’ yard for them too.
As if the send off from Hoyleton was not enough of a celebration Jared and his parents are going to Chicago on July 16 to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Jared arriving in the United States as their son.
Everyone at Hoyleton, and his teacher from the Bridges school, have been amazed at the progress he has made since 2019 and although they will miss having him around they are very excited to hear about Jared’s next chapter in life and wish him the best.