Picture a teenager who grew up in poverty, Gout of school most of his life, sells drugs, then is sent to jail. Now picture that same teenager gets out of jail, graduates high school, earns a college degree, and develops a nonprofit organization that helps at risk youth. Bouncing back after a tragic situation is not easy, but it is possible if you have faith. One way to build your faith is to look for inspiration. Jose Ferran is a young man of tremendous faith, and his story is guaranteed to inspire you.
Jose Ferran grew up in Philadelphia, Pa with a typical routine of going to school, doing homework, and playing sports. He dreamed of being a football player. However, a series of bad choices shattered that dream when he was just thirteen years old. “I was thirteen, in the 8th grade. I got kicked out of school… I was not conscientious about my future. I cared more about my present status”, which at the time was making money, no matter what the cost. Jose’s life continued to spiral downward. He battled with the trauma of gun violence and wrestled with the consequences of attending a disciplinary school for six straight years. Yet, a ray of hope pierced through the darkness as he made a decision that would ultimately change his life. “I became a believer in Jesus Christ when I got into Frankford High School in 2012. Through Frankford, I was introduced to Timoteo Sports, a youth mentoring program where I realized my calling for working with youth.” Timoteo also “introduced me to Esperanza College of Eastern University.”
“When I went to Esperanza College of Eastern University, the experience was very unique because I have never been in a dedicated space for learning. The classes were small and provided a space to dialogue about what you are reading instead of just transcribing it into an essay.” The courses also “made you be self-reflective about how faith, reason and justice connect for you. The library was spacious with study zones set up for students. I really appreciated that! Now, I have a thirst for learning, and it was cultivated at Esperanza College of Eastern University. I am thankful for that.”
Jose bounced back after a tragic beginning. He graduated from Esperanza College of Eastern University with an associate degree in Human Services. Then, he went to Temple University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. Presently, Jose is a social worker at Turning Points for Children. He supports young adults who are aging out of the foster care system. Joe is also working on how to reduce the stigma on mental health and creating assessable and equitable opportunities for the Spanish speaking community in Philadelphia, Pa. Jose is a living testament of, “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).