Carlos Koudelka was born into a large family in El Salvador. His birthmother died when he was still an infant. His father was an alcoholic and abusive to his sister. At the age of 2, after 18 months in an orphanage, he was adopted by a family in Annapolis. Carlos developed into an angry youth who found drugs. He thought he could just be a tough guy selling drugs and prowling the dark with the nickname, “Gremlin,” but Carlos found himself “using his own stuff.”
Carlos’ family had run out of answers, patience, and sympathy. They reconnected with an old friend, Larry Griffin from We Care and Friends, who gained Carlos’ respect. Carlos realized how much he had hurt his family and went to drug treatment at the Teen Challenge Program in New York. It was not easy and did not go smoothly at first, but Carlos even amazed himself when he graduated on January 29, 2010 and was recognized as one of the best students to come through the program. He now hopes to become a Youth Counselor or Youth Pastor.
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