Written by Denise Bard, Guest Author/Board Member
Zack’s childhood was marked by instability and neglect. Placed into foster care, Zack found himself at the age of five moving from foster to group home until he was adopted at the age of seven. Through constant uncertainty, Zack quickly realized that education was his only way out of the system to a more stable and bright future.
As Zack entered high school, he poured his energy into academics, taking AP and honors classes and placing at the top of his class. However, during his senior year, at 17 years old, Zack found himself experiencing homelessness and on the doorstep of Anchor House.
When Zack arrived at Anchor House, he was greeted by Jay, a case manager. As the days went by, the two talked and got to know each other. Zack told Jay that he really wanted to go to college and had his application filled out but didn’t have the money to pay the application fee.
What happened next would end up changing the course of Zack’s life. Jay reached into his own pocket and paid for Zack’s application fee. Several weeks later, Zack received an email that he was accepted into Montclair State University. Zack went on to graduate from Montclair with a bachelor’s in Information Technology and eventually received his master’s in Cybersecurity at the University of Delaware.
Life is full of challenges, and at-risk youth often face more than their fair share. Caring mentors who genuinely believe in the ability of youth to overcome adversity can instill resilience.
Zack, like many others, know that the staff and volunteers are what makes Anchor House a home. “We are family.” Where everyone matters.