By Michael Peter Langevin
A sequel to the 2015 blog, “Joshua’s Story.”
I have to say, I am a personal witness to the good the Monroe Scholarship Program can do. A few years before I moved to Virginia I worked in rural northern California as a Child Protective Services social worker and a therapist. When appropriate, I keep in touch with many of the people I worked with. One of them is Joshua. I met him when he was only fifteen. He was assigned to me because the foster parents and his social worker thought he belonged in a psychiatric ward. Joshua had found his father dead of a drug overdose, which resulted in his mother being sent to prison for dealing drugs.
With his then-recent past, not surprisingly, Joshua was failing his freshman year of high school. He was a very angry and confused kid. With the help of my co-workers, I was able to move Joshua to another foster home and keep him from being committed to a psychiatric unit. I worked with Joshua for four years. Among the positive changes in Joshua during that time was his new-found interest in music. Social services bought him a guitar. Also, very importantly, a support group was developed for him. Before I left Child Protective Services I helped Joshua enroll in Junior college, sign up for his first semester of classes, and orient himself within the college. From six different foster homes in four years, at nineteen he rented his very own apartment.
The state cut off his financial support. He got into drugs and alcohol, and he was having a much more challenging time finding enough work to pay his bills. He also began having intense anxiety attacks, haunted by terrible memories of his early life.
After leaving Child Protective Services I lived in Latin America for two years. Joshua and I kept in touch by email. Through our correspondence, I learned that he repeatedly dropped out of college and re-enrolled and that he picked up many odd jobs to make ends meet. It was obviously not easy for a young man with his background to manage on his own.
Eventually, Joshua decided college was not going to work for him at that point of his life. He had been holding things together, but after that decision things began to deteriorate. The state cut off his financial support. He got into drugs and alcohol, and he was having a much more challenging time finding enough work to pay his bills. He also began having intense anxiety attacks, haunted by terrible memories of his early life.
Joshua just did not know who he was, what his goals were, or what he believed in. He had become very self-conscious and insecure. By the time I returned to the U.S. and had been working with The Monroe Institute for eight months in public relations I became worried about Joshua. I told our executive director Nancy (Scooter) McMoneagle the whole story and asked her advice. Scooter said that if I could get him here, TMI would sponsor Joshua’s attendance in a Gateway Voyage course through the Scholarship Program.
It was arranged. Joshua flew out to spend a couple of days visiting my wife Sofia and me before attending his life-changing Gateway. While he was staying with us after the program, we could see he was a new man, very empowered and clear about what he believed and where he wanted to go.
Joshua returned to northern California where he dug ditches as a way to pay his bills. He created better living circumstances and began reading many books on self-improvement, psychology, spirituality, and mysticism. He often listened to the Hemi-Sync® CDs I gave him. He began composing music in new ways on the computer. He improved his eating habits and got into health food. He was hired to work in an almond milk factory. He began practicing yoga and sharing with his friends the wonders he experienced at TMI.
The TMI Scholarship and Gateway Voyage program, I believe, saved Joshua from a miserable existence and an early death. They gave him the tools to become a whole person and to live his best life.
During Joshua’s visit we hiked and camped along of the Appalachian Trail for a few days, but mostly when I wasn’t working we just sat on my porch and talked, comparing notes on our views of reality and our roles in it. One night, Joshua needed to go up to The Monroe Institute and just touch the big crystal again, which he did. Hardly anyone he had met during his program was there, but he got to renew his relationship with the special energy of TMI.
One afternoon Joshua and I dropped by Frank DeMarco’s home. Frank, who had met Joshua during his earlier visit, saw the amazing changes in Joshua and expressed optimism about his future.
I have seen so many youths in Child Protective Services crash and burn in their twenties. Sadly, the system often doesn't work too well, and many young people become drug addicts, alcoholics, and worse. Joshua had been on his way down that path. The TMI Scholarship and Gateway Voyage program, I believe, saved Joshua from a miserable existence and an early death. They gave him the tools to become a whole person and to live his best life.