Appreciating the Journey
At 22, Anthony Trotter is poised, well dressed, and just landed a plum job at Hunter College. That’s a far cry from the “wild and rebellious” teenager (his words) who came to Children’s Village nearly a decade ago. He’s proud of his current successes, but doesn’t want that to be all you remember about him.
“My history — all of it — is a beautiful thing,” he says. “I was in foster care. I was in trouble with the law. I made some really bad choices. And I turned my life around. All of it has made me who I am today.”
Anthony’s history at CV began when he was 13. “That first year was challenging. There was way more structure than I was used to. It was tough, and my behavior reflected that –- I got in trouble, was fighting, didn’t care about school.”
The turning point came when Anthony began playing on CV’s basketball team. His grades improved and his behavioral problems all but disappeared. He was so talented on the court that he was offered a basketball scholarship to Tomkins Cortland Community College in Ithaca.
The transition didn’t go well. Without the structure he once thought was too much, Anthony floundered and was expelled. “It was devastating. It’s one thing to let yourself down, another to let others down, too. Some people said I couldn’t hack it when I was offered the scholarship, and I hated to prove them right.”
Anthony returned to CV briefly, then left with the support of our privately funded WAY Program. His counselor helped him come up with a plan that allowed him to get his own apartment, enroll in school, and work.
CV’s President, Jeremy Kohomban, personally keeps in touch with many of the kids CV serves, and helped Anthony get his current job. Anthony also serves alongside Jeremy on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Foster Care Interagency Task Force.
A text message from Anthony to Jeremy:
Jeremy, just wanted to reach out to say thanks again for connecting me with this wonderful opportunity to strengthen my professional self. And I thank you not as a former resident or a kid but as a young man trying to make it. These types of opportunities rarely come about and just wanted to tell you I appreciate it because few people would put their name out there to recommend someone.