Husband, father, worker, graduate: Paul Fry III’s abundant life
Dec 30, 2019|Written By: Dylan Rosenthal
When you give to Abundant Life, you make an investment, trusting God as we pursue our vision for Prospect: “Working together to live an abundant life.” It means walking together for the long haul, nurturing one another spiritually, educationally, vocationally, financially, relationally. Of all of our program alumni over the last 23 years, few embody this vision better than Paul Fry III. Your financial gifts help make stories like Paul’s possible.
Paul Fry III joined our tutoring program all the way back in 2001 as a first grader. He explains:
- “I first started going to Abundant Life when I was very young. My mother was a single parent raising four kids on her own, living in a three bedroom apartment in Blue Ridge Commons, also known as Prospect. My mother worked two jobs, so it was hard for her to keep up with four kids and making sure that we did all of our homework when we came home from school. Abundant Life became a big factor because they gave my mother the help that she needed; they provided us with school supplies, tutors and mentors that we could hang out with after school.”
Paul progressed through our programs as he got older: Tutoring, Bible Club, the 5/8 Club, Walker and Buford Tutoring, and served as a summer intern and camp counselor in high school. He attended Young Life for all four years in partnership with Abundant Life. And in 2012, Paul joined STRIVE as one of three participants in its pilot program, and became one of it’s first two graduates in 2013.
First generation college student and family man
Paul attended Piedmont Virginia Community College for two years before transferring to Radford University. As a first generation college student, Paul worked full-time to put himself through school. In 2016, he hosted STRIVE students for a campus tour and Q&A, no doubt inspiring them to see themselves as college students someday. In 2018, he married his high school sweetheart and fellow Radford student Taya and together they had a daughter, Genesis. With all of these responsibilities, after 6.5 years of college, and while working full-time at a juvenile detention center, Paul (and Taya) graduated from Radford this December 14!
Paul’s words that day reflect his faith and perseverance. He wrote:
- “First and foremost I want to thank God for blessing me and let be able to graduate today. I want to also thank God for my family for being my biggest support system. God is good! The first generation to ever graduate. I had a lot of obstacles that came my way but got through it, God led the way. A full-time father, full-time job, and being married but I was still able to graduate. That tells you that anything is possible if you have God on your side! I didn’t come from much but I’m destined for greatness.”
“Stewardship is not measured by what we have received, but by what we have given. This is how we know we have an abundant life, when we have shared our life with others.” – Paul Fry III
We are so proud of Paul and his achievement 18.5 years after he showed up to Abundant Life tutoring as a first grader. Even more so, we’re thankful for his faith and look forward to all that God will do in and through him and his family. Three-and-a-half years ago, we asked Paul what “abundant life” meant to him. He answered:
- “Stewardship is not measured by what we have received, but by what we have given. This is how we know we have an abundant life, when we have shared our life with others.”
Invest in lives like Paul’s through Abundant Life
Many Abundant Life tutors and mentors have shared their lives with Paul over the years, and he now shares his with justice system-involved youth. Countless others have given financially to sustain the programs that Paul participated in where these relationships flourished, and we invite you to do the same today. We remain in need of $41,995 towards our end-of-year $75,000 goal. If you have already contributed toward our year-end campaign, thank you! We are grateful for your support. If you have not, would you make a special gift today? As always, Abundant Life is a registered 501(c)(3) and gifts received or postmarked by December 31 are tax-deductible for 2019.
Please pray that we would reach our goal! We thank you for your partnership, and may you be blessed in the new year!