Mez Pierre knows firsthand what it's like for a child to grow up lonely and afraid. "I come from a community that is full of abuse," he says, "full of neglect, crime, violence, and depression. That was my world as a child. That was my reality."
A Child Drowning
Mez spent years in foster care, but when he aged out on his 18th birthday, he was still all alone. Despising his life in a homeless shelter surrounded by criminals, Mez began thinking about suicide. He also began hoping that God would somehow deliver him from his surroundings. "Lord, I've heard about You... I don't want to be here. Can You please take me out of here?"
A Teenager Worth Saving
Miraculously, the next morning, a man showed up at that shelter to specifically talk with Mez about his future. He introduced Mez to 4KIDS of South Florida and a program for older teens just like Mez. "He said he had a place for me," Mez recalls, "to teach me the things I needed to learn for adulthood." Mez moved into the residential home program and thrived under the care of his supportive resident advisor.
A Life Changed Forever
Wanting to help kids in the same way his mentors guided him, Mez has become involved in the political aspect of child welfare. He's traveled to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to speak about the foster care system – and helped create two bills which are helping to protect and enrich the lives of children in foster care. He's also met the love of his life, Cindy, and plans to be married in November.
"4KIDS is called a program," Mez shares, "but it never felt like a program. It's a family setting, somewhere where they accept you and don't judge you. They care about you and want to go to your graduation. They teach you things, and it doesn't come with a price."