Sunrise mentoring program

Two boys currently living at Sunrise’s Spring Meadows Center in Mt. Washington enjoy a painting class with their life coach mentors.

I met Chuck (not his real name for privacy reasons) when he first arrived at Sunrise’s Spring Meadow Center (SMC) in Mt. Washington. As I began the admission process with him, I noticed he was a friendly, talkative boy who was – as most are at first – anxious about what his new life at SMC would be like. He seemed determined to get through the treatment program here, and he applied himself to his therapy work for a time. However, as time went by, he seemed to lose hope and motivation to keep moving in a healthy direction.

As a treatment team, we had considered starting a mentor program to help boys with their motivation to work hard in the program, especially those that have little to no family involvement and support. We were able to partner with Orphan Care Alliance’s Life Coaching program in March 2022 to recruit and train several life coaches.

Chuck was the first to receive a life coach. After he began meeting with his life coach in October of 2022, he got much more serious about finishing his therapy, and he actually graduated the program this past January. He continues to meet with his life coach each week while he waits for a good foster family placement.

His life coach, Wade Pritchard, said, “In the few short months I’ve been meeting with Chuck, it has been inspiring to watch him increase in his desire to get well. Chuck professes faith in Christ. As he looks to the future and earnestly desires life beyond Sunrise, I have encouraged him to ‘leave behind’ the attitudes and behaviors that have led him to this place in his life.”

Pritchard shared with Chuck a portion of the scripture verse from Philippians 3:13: One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on.

“Chuck and I both enjoy getting together and have expressed interest in continuing our relationship beyond his time at Sunrise,” said Pritchard. “I look forward with great anticipation how God is going to help, guide and bless this young man as he and I press on together.”

Suzanne Pritchard is Sunrise senior administrative assistant at Spring Meadows Center.