On Monday, May 24, 2021, after much anticipation and dedication, two of our residents walked across the stage at their high school graduation.

De’Aundre and Ne’Shaun, 18-year-old twin boys, came to Talbot House Ministries in March. With graduation around the corner, quitting was not an option. With the help of their case manager and their peers at Talbot House, they were able to remain focused, complete all of their requirements, and graduate from Winter Haven High School.

De’Aundre and Ne’Shaun came to Talbot House through the HEARTH Project, which works to ensure that children experiencing homelessness have the same opportunities for educational success as housed students in Polk County.

When asked about the hardest part of finishing high school while being homeless, they said, “It’s tiring.” One brother explained, “We had to be up before 5 a.m. to get ready for school and take a bus to Winter Haven.” Balancing homework with the Talbot House program kept the boys busy and taught them time management skills. De’Aundre and Ne’Shaun leaned on each other in their difficult moments, encouraged each other, and were able to persevere together. Now that they have graduated, they are enjoying more free time and making big plans for the future.

Their case manager, Maria, shares, “I have seen growth in their behaviors and attitudes towards life.” Peers at Talbot House have shared that they are more positive and outgoing than when they first arrived.

What’s next for these young men? De’Aundre wants to pursue a career in mechanics and plans to attend Ridge Technical College. Ne’Shaun dreams of being a video game creator and plans to take courses in computer science, such as coding and programming.

Help us congratulate De’Aundre and Ne’Shaun on their high school graduation! Boys, we are so proud of you and excited for what’s to come.