AJ’s Story

February 21, 2024


We are honored to share the inspiring story of AJ, a testament to the power of resilience, support, and change.

AJ’s journey began in Queens, NY where he was one of many in a large family. Despite the warmth of the family ties he was blessed with, AJ faced numerous challenges from a young age, including the profound impact of the crime-riddled neighborhood that he was raised in and witnessing family and friends falling into the justice system. Given the challenges he faced, street life became his unwelcome mentor, guiding him down paths fraught with obstacles that led to him becoming incarcerated himself.

It was here, during his incarceration, that we met AJ. Initially reserved about the idea of mentorship and faith, AJ slowly began to open up through consistent interactions with YFC Staff, and mentors who offered him an unwavering source of support and understanding. These connections became the foundation upon which AJ could start to rebuild his sense of self and purpose and ultimately, a profound sense of faith.

Right there, while in jail of all places, AJ made the decision to get baptized, marking not just a spiritual rebirth but also the beginning of a new chapter in his life. Embracing his newfound faith with zeal, AJ went on to preach his first sermon within the jail walls, sharing his story of change and hope with others who might see themselves in his journey and through his own testimony, he led his best friend in the jail to Christ and was on hand to see his good friend baptized as well – but it didn’t stop there! AJ was so excited about what Jesus was doing in his life that he called home, ministering to his mother, brother, and sisters telling them to go to church and a few weeks later, his entire family made decisions for Jesus and were baptized too!

AJ’s story is not just about the trials he faced but about his incredible resilience and the community that rallied around him. Through the support of YFC and JJM, AJ has discovered his potential to influence and inspire others. His journey reminds us all of the transformative power of compassion, mentorship, and faith.

As we continue to support more young individuals like AJ, we are reminded of how fiercely they are loved by God and how there are so many more like him who need to hear the Gospel.

AJ’s story is a beacon of hope, showing us that with the right support, anyone can turn their life around and become a source of inspiration for others.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with us, as we unlock the potential within every young person we serve, one story at a time.