A New Family for ChristmasDecember 21, 2012
High school junior, Josue* is the “apple of all his teachers’ eyes,” but there was a time when he couldn’t even go to school. Three years ago, when Josue came to the United States, his dreams of finally being with a dad who cared about him were quickly shattered when his father refused to let him go to school and forced him to work in a factory. While most 14-year-olds in the US are starting their freshman year of high school, Josue worked various jobs from construction in the hot sun to long hours in the cold storage facility of a factory. His health was deteriorating due to working conditions in the factory and he longed to join his classmates.
After months of factory work, Josue confronted his father and even went to the police for support for his claim to education. Once enrolled, Josue’s situation came to the attention of a caring duo of School Principal and Counselor. When they investigated they found that Josue needed to get out of his home if he had any hope of having a childhood. Immediately, a call was put out to the employees of the school to see if anyone would be willing to take Josue in, finally a Teacher’s Aid opened his heart and brought Josue into his family. Josue’s father never even asked him to return home. The school turned to Ayuda to for help applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) since Josue’s father had abandoned, abused, and neglected him.
Today, Josue stood before a judge in court and was granted this special immigration status. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. After she made her decision, the judge thanked the guardian and called him, “Truly a blessing.” She thanked the School Counselor as well, and then congratulated Josue. When it was all over, the School Counselor, who also testified on his behalf, turned to Josue and whispered, “Thank goodness for Ayuda, huh?”
This Christmas is bound to be different for Josue. Last year, Josue was alone on Christmas, his father chose to spend the day with other people. His new family plans to spend the day together, enjoying each other's compancy and going to church.
We are so proud of this new family and of the community that has been built around Josue. This result is a perfect holiday present for our organization and we expect, with your support, to have many more like this in the future.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Ayuda!
*Name changed to protect our client
Photo by DigiDreamGraphix.com on Flickr< Back