THESE TEENAGERS HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH. MANY HAVE LOST PARENTS, BEEN IN AND OUT OF JAIL, AND COME CLOSE TO DYING FROM OVERDOSING ON DRUGS. HOPE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS IN AUGUSTA TOOK THEM IN WHEN NOBODY ELSE WOULD, AND THIS IS THE FIRST HOLIDAY SEASON IN A LONG TIME THEY'LL SPEND IN LOVING HOMES.
14--YEAR-OLD MARK DAVIS IS THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
"I almost died because of drugs...I did too many at one time." Mark said.
HIS AUNT AND UNCLE GOT HIM INTO DRUGS. HE LIVED WITH THEM AFTER THE COURTS TOOK HIM AWAY FROM HIS MOM. MARK NEVER KNEW HIS FATHER.
"We got into this argument and it got really bad to the point where we were almost fist fighting." He said.
HE WAS SKIPPING SCHOOL AND HAD BEEN ON AND OFF PROBATION FOR YEARS. BUT ALL THAT CHANGED WHEN HE MET HIS MENTOR.
"Living with Devon and going to this school has helped me out a lot, I haven't been in as much trouble."
HIS GRANDPA'S DYING WISH WAS FOR MARK TO LIVE WITH DEVON. HOPE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL DIRECTOR RON BURTON SAYS THEY REACH THEIR THIRTY STUDENTS THROUGH GOD.
"It's tough because of the circumstances coming in, but we see miracles happen all the time." Burton said.
AND CLOSE TO NINETY PERCENT OF HIS STUDENTS GRADUATE AND GO OFF TO COLLEGE.
"In a short amount of time we see lives change where they do have hope." Said Burton.
LIVES LIKE SIXTEEN YEAR OLD C.J. SMITH. HE'S ASHLEY SMITH'S nephew, THE WOMAN HELD HOSTAGE BY ALLEGED COURTHOUSE KILLER BRIAN NICHOLS. HE'S BEEN HERE UNDER A YEAR AFTER GETTING EXPELLED FROM LAKESIDE HIGH FOR HAVING MARIJUANA.
"Things have gotten a lot better, this school has really helped me, my grades are 100% better." Smith said.
AND 17-YEAR OLD CORBIN CAIN WILL OPEN PRESENTS WITH HIS MOTHER THIS YEAR, NOW THAT HE'S OUT OF TROUBLE.
"If I didn't have this school, I don't know where I'd be right now." Cain said.
MARK DAVIS WON'T BE ABLE TO SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH HIS MOM THIS YEAR, BUT HE STILL HAS A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR.
"I'm thankful I'm still livin, that I straightened out my life."
FOR THESE TEENAGERS, THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS ABOUT SECOND CHANCES. HOPE CHRISTIAN TAKES THE STUDENTS THAT OTHER ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS REJECT. BUT THEY KEEP THEIR CLASS SIZE DOWN TO TEN. THE STUDENTS NEED THE PERSONAL ATTENTION TO HAVE A SHOT AT A BETTER FUTURE.