Jonathan Carter of Wendell, N.C., is a successful financial advisor living a meaningful and fulfilling life in the suburbs of Raleigh-Durham. The 33-year-old husband and father counts his blessings every day, fully aware and grateful for the second chance at life he received at Paul Anderson Youth Home. Facing a lengthy prison sentence, Jonathan’s life was almost sure to become a nightmare.

At 20, Jonathan was arrested in Georgia for drug possession with intent to distribute. He was facing felony charges with mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. His family was desperately researching alternatives to prison and found PAYH. Prosecutors generously allowed the intervention of the Home, but only after serving three months in jail. It was a much better alternative to several years in prison.

“I thought life was over,” Jonathan said. “I spent 120 days in jail and doing roadside clean-up. Then, instead of being sent to prison, I was transferred to the youth home,” he added.

Through discipline, group living responsibilities, intensive Bible study and a physical fitness regimen, Jonathan began to see there was a way back to a normal life. Resistant and cynical at first, Jonathan’s relationships with his mentors at the Home and his Bible studies led him to his breakthrough.

“The change in my perspective was the main thing. Looking back, the Christ-centered lessons are what anchors me. I went back to college, got a baseball scholarship, and met my best friend. Now I am married, I have four great children and a beautiful wife. The closeness we have with the rest of my family, my parents and my siblings and their children, I owe it all to Paul Anderson Youth Home,” he added.

Jonathan is one of six distinguished alumni recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives, and being named “Gold Medalists for Life.”

Jonathan summed up his feelings succinctly, “Paul Anderson Youth Home gave me my life back.”The success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country. For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or to donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

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