Boys Home is proud of recent College Orientation Workshop (COW) graduate Mulu Slawta. COW is a four-week educational enrichment program at Virginia Military Institute. The goal is to successfully prepare rising upperclassmen for life after high school graduation. Mulu describes himself as an introvert and was initially hesitant about participating. The four weeks challenged him physically, mentally and emotionally. At the conclusion, he was pleased with his decision to participate and graduate.
In the program, each day begins with a wake-up call at 5:00 a.m. The students spend part of the day in the classroom learning about SAT preparation, financial literacy, public speaking, the paths available after graduation and more. Their public speaking skills are tested weekly during the program. After the educational portion was complete, students were tasked with a variety of physical challenges. The program had the theme of a growth mindset. Mulu initially struggled with endurance while completing a maximum number of push-ups in 1.5 minutes. The program had a motto, “I can’t yet. Keep pushing and you can do anything you put your mind to.” At the beginning of the program, Mulu could complete ten push-ups in the allotted time. By the end, he completed thirty.
After returning to Boys Home, Mulu has been challenged to use his new leadership skills on campus. Mulu spoke about COW at the opening school convocation to all current students and staff. In the upcoming school year, he will participate in student council and Key Club. Mulu stated, “The program changed me for the better. I have a ‘you- versus-you’ mentality now. I can do what any man can do. I am more confident, open-minded, physically stronger and know myself better. I want to lead by example on campus.”
Boys Home of Virginia is hosting a Donor Appreciation drawing on September 6, 2022. All donations, cash, check, or credit card that are received from July 1 through August 31 will be entered to win this beautiful handmade wooden charcuterie board! This beautiful work of art was made and donated by Virginia artisan Gary Woods.
Since 1906, Boys Home has offered a nurturing environment for young men, ages 6-17, who need a second chance at success. All donations help provide guidance, education, and assistance to each young man on campus – and get the chance to win a beautiful prize!
If you have any questions or need more information, please call Melinda at 540-965-7707 or visit www.boyshomeofva.org. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to win!
Boys Home was excited to welcome alumnus Derrick Cash back to campus. He offered an incredible testimony of redemption to current students and staff. In the early 2000s, Derrick enrolled and then departed from the Boys Home program three times. Although he was unable to succeed while at Boys Home, a seed was planted. After several years of difficulties, he reached a turning point and committed his life to Christ. During his testimony, Derrick stated, “I am not a speaker, pastor or a counselor. I am you. I sat in that very same seat. Be open to the Boys Home program. Everyone is here to help you. You can choose the harder path or listen to what I’m saying now. The choice is yours. Put your faith first. Christ will take you where you are now. He is not asking for a cleaned-up version.”
Derrick’s visit was prompted by a social media post by Donnie Costigan, Boys Home’s director of athletics and recreation who was requesting new bikes for the current students. After seeing the post, Derrick sprung into action. He stated, “My philosophy is go big or go home.” He raised $10,000 and purchased bikes, hygiene products, athletic equipment, school supplies, tools, an Amazon Fire TV, laptops and more for Boys Home. He received support from his wife Heather, children Bryson and Josie, Terry Martin from the Buena Vista Sheriff’s Office, the Rockbridge community and residents in Rockingham County! Derrick said, “All of the items in the gym are waiting for you. Enjoy! What happened is a gift from God. I am merely the vessel. God can, God does and God will.”
Derrick currently lives in Broadway, Virginia. He is married to Heather Cash and has three children. Boys Home is grateful for Derrick sharing his story and for the generous donations. The vision at Boys Home is simple: create a community that inspires young men to positively impact those around them. Derrick Cash has a wonderful testimony that embodies the Boys Home vision.