Updated: Jun 17, 2021
August's journey started prior to TJS. As children, he and his sister were adopted by Chris and Sherry Marcum. They later separated and Chris married Kimberly in 2013. At that time, August struggled with intelligence disability, PPD-NOS, mood disorder, and anxiety. He also struggled with functional communication, which made it extremely difficult for him to communicate when he was angry. After struggling to get an official diagnosis that would allow him to receive the appropriate therapies and medications he needed, August received an official diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with hallucinations when he was 18 years old and Chris and Kimberly brought him to TJS.
From day one, he made a big impression on his teachers. One of them recalls, "One time he was singing a gospel hymn in the car in his best singing voice. When he was finished he asked our opinion on his performance by asking 'Was it so good it made you want to cry?' The answer was yes."
August has worked on a lot of things during his time at TJS, but most of all, he's made great strides in accepting things he cannot change (like when something is not available) and will choose an alternative or coping activity. His teacher exclaimed with pride, "He has worked hard to overcome his challenges in areas such as accepting changes in routine, maintaining safe behavior while out in the community, and working cooperatively with his teachers and classmates. Now, August is such a cooperative, helpful, and motivated young man - his future is looking bright and we can't wait to see all that he goes on to do!"
August's parents, Chris and Kimberly are in awe of how far their son has come since first entering TJS 2.5 years ago. They commented, "TJS has helped August find his voice, to communicate his needs...If anyone would have told [us] in 2013 that August would have come this far, [we] would not have believed them."
Many students come in and out of TJS and we remember each one for their unique personalities. His teacher says she will miss "the great conversations, his curiosity about others, and the genuine happiness to see your face! Also, his golden pipes!"
(The Marcum family on graduation day.)
Thanks to TJS, August's family is excited about the possibilities the future holds for him. His parents stated with gratitude, "[TJS] has been a source of support for our family and August. TJS has truly helped August become who he is and helped him grow in his faith. [We] cannot thank his staff enough for all they have done to help August and every other student at the school."
The staff at TJS are so proud of how far you've come, August! We cannot wait to hear about all you will do in the future! Click HERE to see a video of August's graduation day speech!