My name is Dustin and I am 24 years old. I have 2 older brothers and I grew up in California in a rough part of town. I spent a lot of time being on my own growing up. Being alone so much led me to stealing beer at age 13 and smoking weed at age 16.
Around that age, I also found myself hanging out with the party crowd and stealing money from my family to buy drugs. I began to use meth and ended up homeless and on the streets pretty quickly. My life seemed to completely fall apart and I got to a point where I felt completely hopeless and was suicidal. My mom suggested that I go to Teen Challenge in Bend to get help.
I knew of God my whole life but never knew the love of His Son Jesus Christ until coming here. As a student in Teen Challenge, I have learned how to love God and myself and be submissive to authority, my brothers in Christ and God's plan for me. I've learned to love again. I have gained a strong hope for my future without the need of drugs, alcohol or tobacco and I want to help others also gain that hope. God has called me to give back to Teen Challenge by becoming an intern. I found out at Spiritual Emphasis last September that a new center would be opening in Alaska this year. I started thinking and praying about what an adventure that would be and how amazing it would be to be a part of something like that. I'm happy to say that on Jul 13 I will be transferring to the new center in Wasilla, AK to finish up my last 2 months and will be beginning my internship there in September this year. I'm super excited to start this new adventure and I hope to keep learning about God as he brings me to new horizons in my life.