Levi, a Pittsburgh native, will graduate June 25 from Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley after years of struggling with drugs and several brushes with the law. At first, he was resistant to entering the program, but he was out of options. He got arrested in Ohio and needed an Ohio address to stay out of jail. He wanted to go to a homeless shelter, but they were all full.
Once he arrived, he realized the structure provided by the program worked for him.
After graduation, Levi plans to start a business, selling T-shirts with messages of faith and Christianity, spreading the gospel.
ATCOV changed Levi’s perspective on his family too. “I always thought my family didn’t like me because of the things I did, but it was because they loved me that they didn’t want me doing the things I did,” he said. “It opened my eyes to the reality of actually furthering my future and bettering myself. What I was doing was destroying my life.”
Levi first smoked marijuana with a friend at 13 and his problems grew from there. He was arrested in school at 14 for stealing another kid’s wallet. He was arrested on drug charges several times and attempted suicide as a young adult. He believes things will be different when he graduates.
“I feel it will be different because of my perspective leaving here,” Levi said. “My image of the world can be determined by my everyday thoughts and so the way I think and act when I’m not in this building will determine my success and my relationship with the people around me.”
His relationship with God will play a big role. “Considering that God is the giver of success, knowledge, wisdom and understanding, being in a relationship with God opened a giant door of motivation for sure,” he said. “He pulled me out of the muck and mire.”