Statistics show that kids like Adrian Perry don’t stand a great chance at living a positive, productive life.
Adrian was born to young parents with little education and they sold drugs to get by. They didn’t have the life skills, finances, or emotional support to provide for him. Adrian’s future looked bleak. He could have become another statistic, but something unexpected happened.
At just two weeks old, an angel by the name of Talibah stepped in and adopted Adrian. His new mom nurtured him, guided him, and did everything she could to keep Adrian on the right track. Adrian had found the loving family and foundation he needed to start his journey.
While Adrian was growing up, he remembers feeling loved and supported.
As he got older, his life got more complicated and his circle of influence broadened. Some of those negative forces his mom was working so hard to protect him from began to seep in.
In middle school, Adrian remembers, “Those around me didn’t want anything in life but just to get by. They didn’t have goals after high school and were proud of it. When I was hanging with these guys, I was constantly being influenced to fight and beat the system in any way possible.”
After finding out that Adrian skipped school to hang with this new “cool crowd”, his mom had enough. She knew she had to step in and make a change. She enrolled Adrian into Cobb County’s A. W. Tony Matthews Boys & Girls Club. She knew it was a place where he could expand his circle of positive influence.
Adrian initially resented coming to the Club, but he began to come around.
“My first time walking into my Club, I thought, ‘Well, just another place I have to be. But once I walked around and got to meet all the different people, it became a part of me. This was my second time being adopted – by my Boys & Girls Club family.”
That was four years ago and now Adrian says signing him up for the Boys & Girls Club was one of the best decisions his mom ever made.
Adrian now fully embraces his home away from home. He quickly made new friends with kids who practiced good choices like studying, attending school regularly, and giving back to their community.
Programs like Keystone, a community service and leadership club for teens, and Passport to Manhood, which helps build positive self-concept and connection to community for middle school boys, supported the foundation that Adrian’s mom had already established.
He joined up with the CareerBound program, which helps teens prepare for standardized exams, provides financial aid workshops, and exposes them to job shadowing and other professional development opportunities.
Today, 17-year-old Adrian Perry stands tall and proud as the 2018-2019 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. He’s the leading ambassador for nearly 10,000 kids that enter the doors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta each year.
After graduating next year from Westlake High School where Adrian is a member of the boys’ track team, Christian athletes group, and Men of Westlake mentoring program, Adrian wants to go to college and earn his bachelor’s degree in sociology. He’s a proud recipient of the Posse Scholarship which covers his entire college tuition.
While Adrian is still narrowing down his options for college, he’s already shaping his plans for when he graduates. After college, Adrian plans on opening up a counseling center for at-risk teens.
“I want to give them a safe place to feel protected, loved, and nurtured. I want to make a difference in their lives like my Club made a difference in mine.”
Learn more about the impact our Career Bound program has on our teens.