Vanessa Wright

I initially got involved with Growing Champions after Sam sent out an appeal for volunteers to cook meals for the young men that have been rehoused. I am now involved in an administrative role… Where this will lead God only knows.

I was attracted to this particular organisation because of the determination of these young men to change their lives irrespective of the destructive, violent, drug infused environment they live in.

I believe that your circumstances don’t determine who you are, your attitude and belief within those circumstances determine who you are… this is best illustrated by a story about two brothers…

Their father was a bitter and cruel alcoholic who almost killed himself several times. Today he serves a life sentence in prison for murder. His two sons are a mere eleven months apart – one of whom grew up to be just like his father – a drug addict who lived by stealing and threatening others until he too, was put in jail for attempted murder. The other brother however, is a different story, a man who is raising three kids, he has a healthy marriage and appears to be truly happy in his career etc… He is physically fit, and has no alcohol or drug addictions…

How could these two young men have turned out so differently, having grown up in the same environment?

Both were asked privately, unbeknownst to the other…

“Why has your life turned out this way”? – Surprisingly they both provided the exact same answer: “What else could I have become, having grown up with a father like that?”

We believe that events control our lives and that our environment shapes who we are… BUT this is not true:

It is not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean that shape us…

You see, it is never the environment, it is never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to these events – how we interpret them – that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow…

It is how we interpret what has influenced our lives positively or negatively that causes us to become either heroes or victims, these beliefs determine whether we will live victorious lives or lead lives of quiet desperation.

The young men who have chosen to be Growing Champions have chosen to believe that the events of their lives do not need to shape them negatively and that is why I am involved in helping these young brave men be everything they dream they can be.