Venance is the third sibling in his family to attend our program. Originally from DR Congo, he grew up in Bangkok where he attended an international school and has memories of good teachers, good friends, and fun going downtown, including to huge malls. It took years after his move to the US at 7 for him to realize he was never going “home.”
But Venance doesn’t identify as a resettled refugee. He is now comfortably home in the US. As a sophomore at La Salle Academy he’s a defensive back on the football team, does track, and is a point guard in basketball.
Venance recalls a middle-school period of impersonating the “cool” boys, talking back and “behaving like people in movies.” But he realized that being “cool” could get him kicked out. With the help of his family he turned things around to focus on sports and education.
Venance is interested in cars and racing. His parents support this as long as he is careful. Someday he would like to run his own sports car dealership.
Venance chose to do the Beautiful Day youth training because his siblings liked it. He expected his sister (who now manages the Aquidneck Farmers Market) to be as tough on him here as she is at home, but she proved to be a good trainer, teaching him customer service and tech for credit card purchases--concepts he found “easy.” We’re proud to have, in his own words, “chill” Venance in our training program.