Charneil Bush entered state foster care when he was 10 and remained a ward of the state until his aunt became his legal guardian at age 16. When he was a young teen, Pastor Meredith Payton recommended that he become a mentee through Pathways Danbury, where he was matched up with his mentor, Jericho Founder Bill Beattie. Charneil’s life was radically transformed. Now 27 employed by a company that helps people with disabilities, he also volunteers at organizations that help those in the foster system, as well as those that work with youth.
“What mentoring did for me was give me back my place in this world. It reminded me who I was … and the power I had as a child of God. Because of the childhood I had, I felt unwanted, unnecessary, worthless. My mentor showed me, because he was always there for me, that I am still special, that I mean something to somebody and that God as a plan for me. I have a place, a plan, and a purpose.”
Watch Charneil’s testimony given at Jericho’s 2016 Gala.