Monroe is 25 years old. He is a big, gentle and soft spoken guy with a smile as big as the sun. He has been one of our favorite students at the APL Teaching Factory. Let me introduce him to you and his move from drama to freedom.
Monroe grew up near 16th and Hamlin. He was the youngest of five children. His father was a steel mill worker and his mother worked as an elementary school aide. His parents were married for thirty six years. Their marriage brought stability to his life. Monroe says his childhood was crazy. He lived the wild life of most inner city boys. Having enough money was always an issue but his parents and relatives valued education and always encouraged him to stay in school. While he was pursuing his education, his father became very sick and Monroe had to drop out of school to help care for his dad. Things in his life changed after that. He got into troubles. Money, drugs and girls caused drama and confusion in his life. He couldn’t hold down a job. His aunts and uncles kept telling him he could get his life together again. They always encouraged him to do better, get back into school and pursue his dreams.
“I wake up every morning and give thanks for what I’ve learned. I expect good things.” – Monroe Thurman
A friend told him about Breaking Ground. There he found friendship, encouragement and help. He graduated on December 14, 2007. After graduation he looked for a job and landed one at Little Lady Food Plant. He has worked there for eight months. He returns often to Breaking Ground to find the help he needs. He’d like a better job, something more full time and more permanent. He says about Breaking Ground Teaching Program, “It was a good program. I learned a lot. They are good people. I’m staying away from drama like they told me to. You won’t catch me turning down help.” He says, “I wake up every morning and give thanks for what I’ve learned. I expect good things.”