This Week's Beit T'Shuvah Spotlight
This Week's Beit T'Shuvah Spotlight: Aaron Gilmer
Aaron Gilmer is a prime example of how Beit T’Shuvah’s internship program can trigger positive change. Our community outreach extends far beyond the Beit T’Shuvah walls; we give opportunities to anyone we come across that has a desire to live a better life. Aaron Gilmer is a 22-year-old dedicated worker in the maintenance crew. While he hasn’t gone through the treatment program, his story of succeeding in the face of adversity illustrates the miracles our organization impresses onto everyone.
Aaron grew up in Bellflower in a foster home that practiced strict rules. His poor behavior in school led him to drop out in 11th grade, the same time he ran away from his foster home. This marked the beginning of Aaron’s two-year experience of living on the streets. He adopted the lifestyle necessary to survive, which included stealing, robbing, and using drugs. He finally moved in with his aunt and began to turn his life around.
Last year Aaron surprised himself by accomplishing something he previously did not think was possible—he earned his GED. He got connected with Beit T’Shuvah through the non-profit Alliance for Children’s Rights (ACR). Aaron’s internship in the maintenance program marks the first BTS internship through ACR, and because of Aaron’s uncanny ability to remain motivated and complete tasks with fervor and consistency, Beit T’Shuvah offered him a job in January.
When he first started working at the house he wasn’t convinced that he had a substance abuse problem. After connecting with residents Aaron became inspired to give up marijuana. He began to see similarities with them and knew that his inability to follow through on commitments was a sign that he needed to make a change. This is Aaron’s first job and it has opened his eyes to a new world of possibilities.
Today, Aaron is much more grateful. His job continues to teach him the value of seizing opportunities in all facets of life. Aaron has begun a path of learning and growing and he is not going to slow down anytime soon. “I learned not to get comfortable with where you are. Once you get comfortable, you stop growing.”
Aaron has his eyes set on the future. He is looking to further his education and will be taking college courses soon. His ultimate goal is to be a guidance counselor so he can fulfill his life goal of opening peoples’ minds to innovative ideas and better options. As Aaron says, “Don’t limit your potential,” a life lesson that he owes gratitude to Beit T’Shuvah for instilling in him.
Help launch a life like Aaron’s so others can discover the magic of Beit T’Shuvah. Donate Here.