By now everyone has seen or at least heard of the movie ‘The Blind Side.’ It’s the true story of howBaltimore Ravens offensive tackleÃ‚Â Michael Oher, anÃ‚Â African American was adopted by a white family who helped him turn his life around.
A similar story is developing inÃ‚Â Seattle, Washington that is even more dramatic, but looks like it could have a very happy ending as well.
16-year oldÃ‚Â Melvin Jones was bouncing around the streets of Seattle with no home and no real family structure.
His mother was dying ofÃ‚Â AIDS and although Melvin was attending school, he had zero credits as a sophomore and no discipline in the classroom.
His high school coachÃ‚Â Kasey Porrier, looked at Melvin as the younger brother he never had and decided to ask his mom if she would take Melvin in.
“Every time I took him home, I was taking him somewhere else,Ã¢â‚¬Â Kasey recalled.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“We drove around to four or five different places and there were no adults. He never had a curfew, never had to do homework, never had to get up and go to school.”
Knowing all of that Kasey’s mom, Jennifer Annable decided to let Melvin stay.
Annable had not had an easy life herself. She moved to Seattle when she was 6 months pregnant with Kasey, with onlyÃ‚Â $50 dollars.
She worked hard to become a teacher, thenÃ‚Â Director of a School For Children With Special Needs.
So given the chance to take Melvin in wasn’t a hard choice at all. She had done it five times when Kasey was younger.
It was very hard at first because Melvin didn’t trust anyone. He kept the groceries Annable bought for him in his room, afraid they would get eaten up.
“He had been loved, but not parented,” Annable said.
Even though Melvin rebelled against it, Annable forced him to study and do his homework.
“Jennifer was like a gnat, like you slappin’ at a gnat and it just won’t go away.” Melvin said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I tried to leave the house 1:30, 2 oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢clock in the morning, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d get into fights with Jennifer.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Melvin was putting so much strain on my mother that it was kind of breaking her.Ã¢â‚¬Â Kasey said, starting to think that maybe the whole thing was a bad idea.
Then one day Annable gave Melvin her ATM card and PIN number. Showing him she trusted him with her life and he could do the same with her.
“I didn’t want to be responsible for Melvin not making it,Ã¢â‚¬Â Jennifer said.
Now several years later the high school sophomore with no credits is flourishing atÃ‚Â Portland State University. Where he is not only a star player, but a gifted student as well.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Once he bought into the hard work, to the long hours, to the family, to the changes in his life, he made it.” Kasey says.
“She threw a Hail Mary pass,Ã¢â‚¬Â Melvin says of AnnableÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guess I caught it“