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EDDIE\'S STORY

EDDIE’S STORY

When Eddie grew up with his mother, brother, and sister, a regular family meal was a tortilla with salt for seasoning.

His loving mother worked hard, but making ends meet was almost beyond her. His dad was not in the picture.

One day, Eddie came home from school to find his brother and sister hungry. He couldn’t take the sight of it any longer. “I decided that was enough. Something had to change.”

At fifteen, Eddie left the ninth grade to go to work.

Moving away from his mother and siblings in Arkansas, Eddie began living with his uncle, who had a construction job for him in San Antonio. There, Eddie had no friends. His absence from home was painful. The burden was lightened, however, by knowing that he made enough money to provide food and necessities for his brother and sister.

After some time, a co-worker many years older told Eddie that he saw something in him. “You know, you’re really good at this. But you could be doing much more. Why don’t you go to school? Why aren’t you in school?”

For Eddie, who left that path years before, the thought of graduating high school at twenty-one was far from appealing. But, his co-worker’s words worked on his imagination. He looked online and found Texans Can – San Antonio.

This was, Eddie says, “the best decision I ever made.”

At Texans Can – San Antonio, Eddie found staff and teachers who made him feel cared for—the first time he ever knew that feeling in school. He made friends. And he still worked construction, still sending money back home, while working for his high school diploma.

One day, one of Eddie’s friends, a fellow member on the basketball team, was struck by a car and died. Devastated by the loss, Eddie turned to the abundantly available emotional support from the staff at Texans Can. Through this time, Eddie connected with his math tutor, who became a mentor and friend. Eddie began to enjoy weekends.

“For the first time in my life, I actually got to be a kid.” His heavy responsibilities, he said, faded in those moments.

The impact Eddie’s mentor made on him stays with him to this day. Now, seven years after graduation, Eddie is an award-winning store manager for AT&T, a company he has stayed with since he graduated. He has traveled abroad, and he has purchased his second home. Because of his experiences at Texans Can – San Antonio and the success he has known since, he wants to give back, being a mentor to young men who, like him, have had to go without the love and guidance of a father.

Most important to Eddie is his family. Married with two small children, a six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, Eddie is grateful that they “will never know what it was like to struggle” as he did. “They will never know the pain of growing up without their father.”

And Eddie is a father figure to more than his children. Thanks to his hard work, his brother and sister were provided for. Both graduated and now, says Eddie, are “doing well,” and they now live in the same Arkansas community. If cousins need equipment so they can enjoy playing on the basketball team, Eddie is ready to provide. The beat of his heart is to be the father he never knew, and the one he found at Texans Can – San Antonio.

The new life he has found through Texans Can, Eddie says, is “truly amazing.”

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