Corey portrait Past Epworth YouthRemember the person whose smile can wash away even the worst day? Corey Rasbury has that smile. When Corey was 14, it wasn’t always easy for him to find ways to share that smile. He had behavioral and discipline problems that affected his education. Corey’s teacher believed he wasn’t being challenged enough in his grade level. She referred Corey’s parent to Epworth Children & Family Services.

Karen and Loren, Corey’s parents, sought out Epworth thinking their programs would be therapeutic and challenging for their son. Karen thought Epworth would be a good source of support and would help Corey succeed in life.

After working with Epworth staff to develop a plan for success, Corey started with Epworth’s Special Education School. “The staff designed a curriculum program to fit Corey’s learning needs precisely,” said Karen. “They were assisting him by implementing learning strategies that increased classroom success.”

With the coping skills Corey was taught inside Epworth’s encouraging walls, he was finally able to show his warm and genuine nature. Within one year, Corey successfully completed the first portion of the program.
Karen said the staff at Epworth made a profound impact on Corey. Genica Chairs, a licensed therapist, mentored her son and still calls him periodically to see how he’s doing. Cindy Cramer, Epworth’s English teacher, helped with a priceless gift – she helped him embrace a love of reading.

“Cindy and Corey really clicked and Corey began to pick up reading,” said Karen. “Cindy would go out of her way to buy him books that she thought he would enjoy reading.”
Many of Epworth’s staff took an interest in Corey and supported his journey. Keith Harvey, a physical education coach, helped Corey fall in love with basketball. The pair would shoot hoops and chat about everyday life while on the court.

During Corey’s time at Epworth, Karen said he most enjoyed being in the gym. Corey loved playing basketball and working with the younger kids. Whether it was helping them read or participating in projects, Corey was there.

“The younger kids really looked up to Corey,” Karen said. “He was their role model and they wanted to do everything with him. During summer school one year, the children held boat races in Epworth’s swimming pool and Corey helped them build their cardboard boat. All the kids wanted Corey to be the captain and drive the boat, but being 6’10” and a heavier kid, the boat wasn’t going to make it to the end. But Corey hopped in the cardboard boat anyway and, as predicted, the boat was underwater. The kids loved his enthusiasm and willingness to do anything.”

In June 2014, Corey transitioned out of Epworth and enrolled in public high school full time. He is now 16 and a Junior at Troy Buchanan High School. At his new school, Corey takes the skills he developed for basketball at Epworth to the court as part of their basketball team. He also plays football and enjoys spending time with friends.

Corey’s mom hopes to see him attend a technical school. He loves being on the computer and says he can’t wait to enroll in a local college to study computer programming or gaming.

“With the help of Epworth, I feel like I can succeed in anything,” said Corey. “I’ve met so many great people through the two years of being at this organization who I know will support me and continue to help me strive for my goals.”

Corey works to maintain focus and break through obstacles using skills learned at Epworth. He looks forward to his future and all that it holds. Corey was encouraged to find strength at Epworth to build a brighter future. Now he has the tools he needs to succeed and a smile that will take him a long way.