From the time he was a child, Anthony’s mother had a severe substance abuse problem and was unable to care for him and his younger brother. At age 7, Anthony went to live with his grandmother, but after a short time, she too was unable to care for him adequately. Taken away from the only person he called family, Anthony spent the next several years in and out of foster homes and shelters. When he should have been worrying about catching the ice cream truck in time, Anthony spent his time constantly worrying about where he was going to sleep at night, and what was going to happen tomorrow. His childhood was filled with instability and turmoil, with no parental guidance. His life was constantly in chaos. 

Anthony’s final placement was with Families First when he was 12 years old. For the first time in his life, Anthony found stability in a family-like atmosphere at the Families First S. Fulton cooperative  for boys. There, Anthony received daily guidance and support from his social worker. He participated in individual and group therapy to deal with issues of abandonment, neglect and post-traumatic stressors. Through family therapy, Anthony was able to re-establish a relationship with his paternal grandmother. Families First provided Anthony with extracurricular activities such as a membership to the local YMCA. The agency also introduced him to a mentoring program that allowed him to bond with his mentor, and establish a nurturing relationship. And by working diligently with the Georgia court system, Families First was able to re-connect Anthony with his younger brother.

With the support and guidance of Families First and his mentor, Anthony graduated from high school and went on to achieve an Associates Degree in Electronic Computer Technology at Devry Institute. Today, Anthony is a hard working young man. When he’s not busy starting up his own music label, Anthony works at Families First as a Relief Parent. He also works with Metro Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative (M.A.Y.O.I.), an organization that helps current and former foster care clients transition out of the foster care system. This role provides Anthony the opportunity to travel all over the country giving speeches and advocating for foster youth. Anthony is also very proud to work alongside the First Lady of Georgia, Mrs. Perdue, in instituting policies for foster parents and foster agencies. On top of his hectic work schedule, Anthony manages to attend college where he is currently working toward a Bachelors degree in Electronic Engineering.

“Families First took me in when there was no one else. They’ve been like family ever since.” -Anthony