FLOURTOWN, Pa. - A Montgomery County group aimed at helping youngsters in need is celebrating a milestone.
Carson Valley Children's Aid in Flourtown has been rebuilding children's lives after abandonment or worse for a century.
Charles Holcomb is all too familiar with pain.
At 13 his adoptive mother dropped him off at DHS services, ultimately choosing her new boyfriend over her son. Soon he started acting out.
"I was doing a lot of stealing when I was younger and a lot fighting and getting kicked out of school," Holcomb said.
No other relatives offered to take him in and after numerous foster parents and programs, he became a resident at Carson Valley Children's Aid or CVCA, an organization that supports young adults and their families.
They've been doing just that for 100 years.
"These aren't bad kids. These are kids who have had bad things happen to them. They've been sometimes abused physically or sexually, and certainly emotionally," said one employee.
On this 100 acre piece of land in Flourtown you'll find nearly 150 students between ages 12-19, some of whom attend the on campus day school.
Each have their own story, their own painful journey and the hope of a better life.
Campus director, Joe Griffin, understands that yearning for more.
He too was separated from his family and placed in multiple foster homes.
Against all odds, He went on to graduate from Cheyney University and obtained a master's degree.
He says Holcomb reminds him of himself.
"Growth and change, I see a lot of myself, a kid who unfortunately but fortunate to come through a system that believes in him," Griffin said.
It is in large part because of CVCA and role models like Joe Griffin that Charles Holcomb says he has a pretty good idea of what he wants to do when he graduates from college. Give back and become a therapist for children with his background.
"I've seen a lot of kids here act out and I know when I grow up and get a job here I'd be able to help them the same way these guys have helped me," Holcomb said.
CVCA is doing great things here, but funding has become increasingly difficult.
If this story has touched your heart and you would like to chip in and help, visit the Carson Valley Children's Aid website.
Send a breaking news alert
Report a correction or typo
Learn more about the 6abc apps