Love and understanding
“Sometimes, these teenagers, all they need to know is that somebody really cares about them,” Jennifer added. “What makes it easier for me is realizing that I was a teenager once. You just have to know how to talk to them and how to relate to them and understand where they came from.”
The boys she works with don’t always open up right away, but with patience and respect Jennifer and her husband Wilbert are able to earn their trust. They feel rewarded when the boys confide in them and they see them begin to reach their goals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer focused on teaching the boys in her home independent living skills, including exercise, nutrition and cooking healthy dishes such as shrimp vegetable stir-fry. With Jennifer and Wilbert’s support, they did well and supported one another in the difficult quarantine time.
Support that spans generations
Jennifer always hoped for a son. Now she’s had over 20, many of whom still stay in contact to wish her a happy birthday or introduce their own children.
“These young men, young boys, they want to feel like they’ve got a family. They want to feel loved.”