TRANSFORMING BROKEN LIVES
From the beginning, Teen Challenge has operated under the concept that, “a person with life-controlling problems can change, if that person wants to change.”
Teen Challenge of the Dakotas exists to transform the lives of people who have life-controlling problems.
WHAT WE DO
Teen Challenge of the Dakotas offers a residential program for adult
males, 18 years and older.
The real heart of our program is that we focus on the man as a whole, rather than look at the dysfunction, whether it’s addiction, depression,
criminal activity or something else.
STORIES OF CHANGED LIVES
I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ in an extremely dysfunctional and abusive home. I hit the streets at a young age and was a miserable human being – bitter, angry and full of hatred. I acted out in violence and lived in severe addiction. Somehow, I managed to put a family together and really tried to get my act together for them, but I just couldn’t figure out how. Eventually I got sick of trying and failing and I attempted suicide in a jail cell. But God had other plans for me.
The courts sent me to Teen Challenge and the Lord moved mountains inside me. He has shown me in so many ways that I’m not alone, that He’s with me no matter what. With guidance through TCD, I seek God daily, and like the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah says, “You will find Him when you search with all your heart.” Since my complete and total surrender to Christ, the person I used to be is long gone. The Holy Spirit dwells in my heart and has begun to cultivate qualities that even amaze me at times. I work full-time job now and my relationship with Christ is paramount to my life. I know I’m the Lord’s light to those around me, and anyone that knows me knows about Jesus.
When it says God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him, that’s no lie. My children love and respect me today, and God is restoring a relationship with my oldest child that I never even knew possible. God is so good. There is now a bond between me and their mother that goes way beyond physical attraction, which I never understood or experienced before. We pray and fast together. We’re the friends we had never been before. As for my future, God has shown me recently that His plans far exceed mine. So, I’ll let Him lead with unshakeable faith and ruthless trust in His will, not mine. Now I have hope in my life – hope for my family and hope for a productive future.
My name is Anthony Harris. I was raised in a family that attended local Churches and allowed me to go to summer retreats and activities. I enjoyed this lifestyle for most of my childhood. I graduated from a Christian high school received a dual sport athletic scholarship to attend college. Adjusting to the rigors of university life, studies and the demands of two sports was overwhelming. I developed a terrible eating disorder and an ever growing and destructive drug addiction. By the end of my freshman year of college, I had been arrested 3 times, lost my passion for competitive golf, and lost more matches in wrestling than I had in all four years of high school combined. I was strung out on meth to solve my weight loss struggles for wrestling instead of putting in the hard work. I was weak and vulnerable giving in to temptation at every corner. I was so lost and controlled by lust that I lost my identity. I had destroyed my college scholarships, my hometown dreams, my loving relationships with family and close friends, and worst of all my health.
After two felonies and multiple arrests, I was accepted to Teen Challenge in 2007. The staff at TCD are truly the Lord’s hands and feet. During my time there, I was remolded into a trustworthy person with integrity and honor. Because of Teen Challenge, I now know how much I’m loved, and that the Lord has a plan for my life, to use my story to encourage others who are heading down a path of destruction.
It's been over 15 years since my life was turned around at Teen Challenge. I’ve been married to an amazing woman and life partner for over 10 years and we’ve created a loving home for our two beautiful children, a son Canaan and daughter Lily. I’ve built a very successful home remodeling business, in large part from the character and technical skills taught at Teen Challenge. The trust that I now have in God, and appreciation for the advice of my family and close friends, all have helped me to develop a large clientele of customers who love the exceptional remodeling projects that I’ve created for them. It’s been rewarding to serve my patrons and help them create inspiring change in their lives. I give back to the community in ways I would have never imagined by volunteering for needed renovation projects on residential and commercial buildings.
I truly credit my experience at Teen Challenge, and their rigorous and truth-based curriculum, for giving me the strength and the tools to turn away from the self-inflicted bad attitudes and addictions that were destroying my life. They transformed me from a man on a path of destruction, with little hope, to a man of integrity, and faith in God. I would not be where I am today without Teen Challenge and the support of generous donors who help make this remarkable program possible.
TCD played a very significant role in my life, if not the biggest role. It showed me there is something bigger than myself and my problems. It helped equip me with tools to be a better man. I understand that God does the work, but the staff are awesome. They want nothing but the best for the students, and they show up every day to ensure that.
I graduated from TCD in October 2021. After completing the Re-Entry phase of the program, I now work as a Controls Intern at Dakota Pump in Mitchell, SD while attending Mitchell Technical College for Automation Controls/SCADA program, which stands for “Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.” I’m learning how to create, program and monitor control systems. I’m also using AutoCAD Electrical software to make wiring schematics and I do some panel building. Once I get my associate’s degree, I’d like to get into programming PLCs, which are automated controllers that are found in a lot of automated processes like manufacturing, water systems, and utility stations.
God’s done a lot for me in my life. One thing is how I’ve felt the presence of peace in pain,
whether that be from my old stupid choices where I’m still reaping the consequences, or just the way life can be sometimes. I no longer react the way I used to. If I never would have gone to Teen Challenge, I don’t know if I would’ve made the 180-degree turnaround that I did with my life.