Andrew is a reflective 17 year old, who at the age of 4, after his sister was born, began moving from place to place living all over the state of Wisconsin and Minnesota. He grew up in an abusive home fueled by his father’s addiction and drug dealing. In and out of placements over the years, Andrew lacked stability in his life and arrived at Rawhide in November of 2022.

When asked what it was like to move so often, Andrew shared, “It was pretty hard because you go to a place and then you have to leave and go to another place. Fourth grade, that was the first time I was ever in a full year of school at one school and that was when I was in foster care.”

While academically gifted, over the years Andrew was not challenged and came to Starr Academy credit deficient. Working with Ms. Michelle, he is now on track to graduate. He shared, “Ms. Michelle motivated and pushed me further. She wasn’t going to just let me slide. She is the biggest motivation I have had.” He went on to share “She is probably one of the most helpful people in my life.”

Andrew hopes to be remembered at Rawhide as “the Little Engine that could”. He said, “I have been going up the hill, it’s hard. You get stuck sometimes, you can’t make it all the way up. You go back down and go back and make it a little further until you make it over the hill. And then you have to go up the next one…that is what it has been like for me. I keep going and don’t give up.”

Andrew’s message to donors: “You believe in kids and want them to succeed in the future and become leaders. I have never seen that before anywhere, it’s amazing!”