Tommy’s mother left when Tommy was two and never returned, leaving him in the care of his drug-addicted father. After six years of neglect, Tommy was removed from the home by DCS. Shortly thereafter, Tommy’s father died of a drug overdose.
Living in cramped quarters with his aunt, uncle, and four cousins, Tommy was always reluctant to accept help, feeling that there were others who needed it more than he did. A quiet, well-behaved student, Tommy’s problems went unrecognized in school and he began to fail. The school’s athletic director – a former YOTO Liaison – took an interest in Tommy and encouraged him to improve his grades so that he could play sports.
Eventually, Tommy admitted that the tensions in his aunt and uncle’s home were running high and that they didn’t treat him very well. With the support of YOTO, his school, and some friends, Tommy is working steadily toward graduating this year with hopes of playing basketball in college.