Damien Holley is a typical teenager. He likes to listen to music and loves playing video games. He is full of hope, love, and curiosity. He demonstrates these strengths by volunteering and working hard in school. “My favorite class is Chinese because it is an easy A,” Damien said. He also has a fairly atypical aspiration for a teenager. He wants to be a farmer.

Fortunately, Beech Acres Parenting Center foster care families are a tight-knit community. “One unique thing about fostering through Beech Acres is the community we build among our families,” Jessica Thompson said. Thanks to this strong community of families, Damien was able to spend a day with another Beech Acres family. On their farm. “It was fun and really cool! My favorite part was riding in the harvester and my least favorite part was riding in the seed planter because it was very uncomfortable. But I still enjoyed that part, Damien said.

Damien is no longer the shy, reserved, anxious teen he was when he met the Holley family. The Holleys have embraced Damien and been strong advocates for him as he found his identity. Now, Damien is thriving. “He is now a bright, happy child who will talk your ear off if you get him on the right subject,” said Rebecca Hammoor, Damien’s social worker. “Everyone can attest to the positive changes in this child throughout his time with the Holleys.” “My daughter said ‘He was meant to be our brother,” Sharity reflected.

Spending the day on the farm, strengthened Damien’s resolve to pursue agriculture even more. He is full of gratitude. Now, Damien has a permanent family that loves him, the continued support of the Beech Acres community, and the power to achieve his dreams.

“I am grateful for passing this semester of school and for my family,” Damien said.