When I first came to camp, I was a hellion, a bully,” says former camper August May. He had every right to act out in anger and aggression — his parents had lost custody of him because of neglect and abuse. He was growing up in the foster care system. He had five siblings whom he had never met and was never to see …
And his life was on a tragic trajectory: half of young adults who “age out” of foster care wind up in prison. 80% of death row inmates spent time in foster care as children. 74% of all prison inmates were once foster kids.
With his bullying tendencies already in place, August seemed like he would become another statistic — except for two very important developments in his life.
First, his foster mother legally adopted him and gave him a loving, stable home. And secondly … you stepped into his life, and made it possible for him to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp. “Camp helped me take my first steps for the better,” August recalls today. “Little by little I began a spiritual journey that would change my life.” Royal Family was eye-opening for August in so many ways: the adults were all kind to him — no one used any dirty language around him at all — and the activities were fun and interesting: from building birdhouses to taking apart computers … It was all the thrills and excitement of a family vacation he’d never had before, with people who truly cared for him.
Today August May is 16 years old, an All-State clarinet player who recently had a part in his school’s musical production of Into the Woods, excelling in school, making plans for college, and has been part of several annual missions trips to Honduras. He’s not the angry bully who first showed up at camp … He’s not the frightened foster kid who had to be tough to survive … He’s a strong young man who knows he is loved by his family, by God, and by his friends at Royal Family KIDS.
And it was your love and compassion that made the difference! Thank you, from August, and from every young person in the Royal Family. You’re making their lives a whole lot better!