Semaj still fondly remembers his first day at By The Hand. “I was very excited when I came inside, and everyone was friendly to me.” Now he likes spending time with the team leaders. “They make me feel like I want to come to By The Hand, and I feel like I have people that care about me.”

Right now, his favorite subject in school is science because he finds it challenging and enjoys learning new things every day. Semaj also loves doing flips and wants to be a gymnastics teacher so he can “help other kids learn about flipping.”

“This helpful attitude is very characteristic of Semaj, who is friendly to everyone he comes in contact with, quick to give compliments and praise to others, and is often the first to raise his hand, volunteer and include other students in what he is doing,” says his team leader.

When Semaj first came to By The Hand in the fall of 2017, he struggled with anger and had frequent conflicts with another student. Now he and that student are good friends, and even sit at the same table in some of their classes. Semaj says that anger was one of his biggest challenges, but By The Hand helped him overcome it. “I learned that God will help me get through my struggles and help me to persevere. I also learned more about communication and not to get so angry about the little things.”

Now Semaj says he uses his Power of One to help other kids work through their anger and frustration. “I used to have big anger issues, but now I understand what God did for me and share that with other people.”

When you give to By The Hand, you are the one helping kids like Semaj.