HOPE – Students in the Hope Public Schools grades five through 12 have been invited to hear youth minister and motivational speaker Alton Carter recount his experiences in foster care which led to the publication of “The Boy Who Carrie Bricks” in an Aug. 29 program at Hempstead Hall.
Sponsored through The Call of Hempstead County, Carter tells the story of abandonment by his father and neglect by his mother that resulted in his placement in multiple foster homes and at a boys’ ranch through most of his youth.
“I am only different than anyone in my family in the choices I made,” Carter notes in a website discussion.
Born the second of five children, most of whom never knew their father, Carter decided early in life to change his course; a journey he recounts in the autobiographical novel.
“The importance and value of hope should never be underestimated,” he said on his website.
A former Oklahoma State University police officer, and graduate of Oklahoma State University, Carter is the director of youth ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Dixie Coffee, director of The Call in Hempstead and Nevada counties, said the faith-based non-profit organization seeks to broaden understanding of foster care in Arkansas and work through local denominational church structures to find families willing to serve as foster parents.
“We are bringing Alton Carter, a national motivational speaker and author to Hempstead Hall to share his story of growing up in foster care,” Coffee said. “He is using his story to inspire youth and adults to do all they can to ‘make the world a better place.’ We believe his message can speak to all of our community and we are excited to bring him here.”
The student program is set for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 29 at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus, and an evening program for the community is planned for 7 p.m.
“We encourage everyone to come and hear his story,” Coffee said. “Admission is free.”