By: Hannah Jackson
When Daniela’s son, Cody, expressed interest in the Compass program she was hesitant. It was the first year of the program and she didn’t really know what to expect. She also had a lot of questions: What would he learn? How would waiting a year to begin college impact him down the road? How would he manage without Mom?
After a season of consideration, prayer and many discussions with Cody…they decided to take a risk and say yes to the Compass program.
However, after dropping her son off at Lighthouse Point, the uncertainty continued to linger. She kept wondering, “Did we make the right decision?”
But then she started seeing changes in Cody.
She watched as her son became more mature and took ownership of tasks. She saw him begin to take better care of himself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. His passion for his faith in Christ seemed refreshed and much stronger.
She watched her doubts melt away as the concerns of Cody delaying college resolved itself over the course of the program. Daniela feels the best part of the program has been seeing Cody recognize the direction he wants to go in life. Cody has been able to make these decisions after realizing the importance of putting God first in his life and growing in his self-confidence as well.
“Through Compass, Cody has been able to experience opportunities that I never would’ve been able to offer him and through those experiences he has made life-changing decisions that I’m confident will lead him down a successful path.”
She’s watched as Cody developed life skills that have equipped him for his next steps after the program ends. Cody has learned cooking, vehicle maintenance, organization, communication, time management, and leadership. He has grown in compassion, humility, understanding, and patience.
Cody’s attitude towards his family has also changed. Daniela has experienced Cody show a new appreciation for the time with family he gets throughout the program. The quality of time has deepened, despite the decrease in quantity.
Daniela’s initial uncertainty of sending Cody to a gap year program continues to be replaced with a confidence in this decision as she watches Cody grow in ways she never imagined.
“If you’re a parent hesitant to send your child to Compass, I would tell you to take that leap of faith” Daniela said. “I truly believe God has a plan for each of us and it may not align with our plan. If God puts this opportunity before your family, He did it for a reason. Your child will develop lifelong friendships and learn skills most teenagers don’t learn these days. Your child will come out of this program a changed person!”
Now, Daniela can confidently say that sending Cody to Compass was one of the best decisions they have made as a family.
“Through many life lessons, prayer, and a stronger faith, Cody will be leaving Compass a more confident, healthier in all aspects, and happier person who knows what he wants in life and how to obtain it,” Daniela said. “We are truly thankful we took a leap of faith when God put this opportunity before us.”