During September 2014 when this 16-year-old, called Anthony Schultz, was jogging down the street, it was a sweltering Arizona night. He was all alone, and he was jogging with all his strength, he really had no clue that a Peoria police officer was observing him.
Watching the teenager from his patrol vehicle, Officer Brandon Sheffert could not get rid of that nagging feeling that something was disturbing with regard to this kid. He detained the boy and tried to have a chat with him, but young boy didn’t want anything to do with the cop.
“Something about it bugged me because I couldn’t get through to him …He just seemed like there was something going on, and that there was something that was hurtful going on that he wouldn’t say.”
Brandon, who arrived back home to his dear wife, plus two little children, couldn’t get rid of the thought of the disturbed young boy from his mind. For an officer who’s experienced it all, Brandon really did feel compelled to look into the boy’s living circumstances then investigate a bit more about the mysterious teen.
Brandon started by visiting Anthony at his apartment complex, there he discovered that the teen was sharing a 1-bedroom apartment with, can you believe, seven other members of the family.
“I kept coming over here, talking to him, spending time with him, getting to know him, getting to know the family, understand what’s going on”
Things were still getting a lot worse though. One night, Brandon’s phone rang, Anthony’s overwhelmed mother was on the phone!
“You need to come take him …I can’t take him anymore.”
Brandon was Taken back with shock, he said:
“I was like, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa. That doesn’t make sense,'”
Without another place to go and no other family to go to either, Brandon and his wife made the decision, it would change his life for the better and forever! They both, to start with agreed that Anthony would live with them for at least a week, while Anthony’s mom got things sorted out!
Alas, things did not get sorted though, when Anthony reached the age of 18, just November last, he still had nowhere at all to live.
“This kid just keeping getting hit over and over with things that no kid should have to go through”
Brandon and his wife really did something amazing, they took on Anthony into their house and home, just like he was their own son. For the very first time, Anthony had the love, support, and warmth of a healthy and amazing family.
“We have taken him in as one of our own ..Even my kids say he’s their big brother, and they love it.”
Under the protection of his new found family, Anthony really started to flourish. He stopped stressing about his next meal, and where it would come from would come from, he learned to drive a car too, he even had his own bedroom and got his very first job too.
Anthony really did see some light at the end of the tunnel for the first time. Later this month, he will become the first person in the family in over 30 years to graduate from high school, on time!
Anthony really is very pleased and happy, and thankful too, that everything turned out the way it did…
“If he weren’t there that night, there would be no one else, in my opinion”
“I don’t think I would be here …I wouldn’t be the person I am, I could be in jail for all I know.”
Anthony is now planning a future in the Army, then anything is possible, he said:
“I feel as though there’s not a lot stopping me, at this point”
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