A Letter From Ricky Ward

March 13, 2019

My name is Ricky Ward and I lived at the Parris Home from about 2010 to 2013.

Like most mistreated and abandoned kids I lived in multiple foster care homes before I moved into the Parris Home. Although I wasn’t that happy about being there when I first arrived, now that I look back I believe that the Parris Home is really the closest thing to a normal home I got to experience in my teenage years. During the first days I remember the home felt uncomfortable, the same way other foster care homes felt. It didn’t take long before I was into the daily routine of waking up in the morning, getting ready for school, doing the daily chores, and heading off to school. I remember at first feeling the house parents and I didn’t see eye to eye and they were too strict and had too many rules. However, I slowly realized they were trying to help all of us kids cope by getting us on common ground. After a while I saw that my house parents acted just like normal parents and at times they’d even bend some of those rules and let some things slide, like letting us stay out too late or letting us stay up past our bed time and hang with them while watching TV.

My best memory was the relationship I developed with Mr. Jerry Glover, who was the Social Worker at the Parris Home during my stay. Through my rough times growing up he became like a surrogate father for me. Mr. Jerry, pushed me to stay in my advanced classes, graduate in the top 10 of my class at Wellborn High school, and encouraged me when I struck out on my own at age 18. Today I know that I work hard at everything and, anything I do, I do to the best of my abilities because of the lessons my house parents and Jerry taught me. Not only did I learn those lessons from them while I lived at the Parris Home but after moving out on my own I continued to learn from them when I returned to the home to visit and help out around the house. Every bit of those experiences I had in the home helped me better myself and make me who I am today. Today I look back and realize all the experiences I had there were positive impacts on my life, and I appreciate the tough love and the gentle care of the Parris home.