Once Troubled Teens Learn Important Lessons In Katrina's Aftermath - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/14/05

Once Troubled Teens Learn Important Lessons In Katrina's Aftermath

Hurricane Katrina has brought out the best in some people, including kids in Gautier who came to our area with troubled pasts. Between their group home and helping during the storm's aftermath, the teens have learned some life changing lessons.

Fifteen-year old Danny Butt walks around what's left of his school rooms at Accendo Christian Academy in Gautier. In a different way, his life was a mess when he moved here from the Cleveland, Ohio area.

"Four years ago, I was miserable. I was angry 24/7."

Accendo's Pastor and Director Tommy Fortenberry started this home five years ago.

"I fully believe if you can change a child's heart, then his mind will change with it," Fortenberry said.

The home to about two dozen troubled kids from across the country has lots of damage from flooding, but they're pulling together. They're cleaning up their home, and others, and dumping any of their old attitudes.

"I had one young man, we were actually squeegeeing up raw sewage and it stank to the high heaven. The young man said, 'You couldn't pay me to do this, but to show God's love, I'll do it for free,'" Fortenberry said.

Katrina certainly packed a powerful punch, but the storm also fueled the fight for their own lives and for others.

"Getting help to elderly people, people who can't physically help themselves, feels good to be a helping hand in the community," teen Kevin Pinder said.

Giving back is something these kids may not have ever thought about before coming here.

"It makes you pleased when you see how they came here and then you see these effects in their life, positive effects as they start changing things," Fortenberry said.

Pastor Fortenberry tells us he's getting calls everyday from people who need the boys' help, and they're responding, even while their own home needs a lot of work.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:05:41 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
  • Mother has message for son after he's arrested for stealing car

    Mother has message for son after he's arrested for stealing car

    Saturday, May 19 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-05-19 12:49:30 GMT
    Evelyn Thompson (Source: WMC Action News 5)Evelyn Thompson (Source: WMC Action News 5)

    A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars. 

    More >>

    A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars. 

    More >>
  • Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly