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Sophomore overcomes his past

Anthony Rains faced obstacles when he was younger, but find out how he overcame them and what he does now to help others.

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Sophomore overcomes his past

Photo contributed by Anthony Rains

Photo contributed by Anthony Rains

Photo contributed by Anthony Rains

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Sometimes, life isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s hard to find a way out. Sometimes, home doesn’t feel like home.

One SHS sophomore knows this better than anyone.

They lost everything. When he was only 6, his parents got divorced. He then lived with his grandmother and father but had to sleep on the floor. His father died when he was only 12. After that, he lived with his mother but she had started doing drugs again.

That would have been sophomore Anthony Rains’s continued reality if it weren’t for one of his middle school teachers and one fateful afternoon in the eighth grade.

“I would have done what it would have taken to get him out of that situation,” Rains’ eighth grade English teacher Natasha Bynum said, thinking back on Rains’s life at that time.

Bynum had Rains in English. There came a point in time when if Rains did not have transportation to Southport Middle School, he would have to switch schools. Bynum did not want to lose him as a student, so she worked with SMS guidance counselor Forrest Miller to make it possible for her to take him back and forth from school.

The more time Bynum spent with Rains taking him to and from school, the more Bynum felt like he was a part of her family.

“Anthony has a very special place in my heart,” Bynum said.

One afternoon during the car ride home from school with Bynum, CPS was called due to an incident that had taken place at Rains’ mother’s house. CPS arrived shortly after the call and placed Rains into a foster home with a couple he had previously met.

Rains has been with the same foster family ever since that day and plans to be adopted this month by the same couple.

“That’s what (my foster family has) been working towards the whole time,” Rains said. “It’s a long process.”

Before he started talking to Bynum and before he was placed with his foster parents, Rains needed someone to talk to, someone to help him do better, and he says Miller just happened to be that person.

Rains approached Miller first and asked for help. As time went on, Rains continued to talk to Miller and started to look up to him as a father figure. To this day, they continue to talk and meet up at least once a week, according to Miller.

“To somebody on the outside, it probably would look like a mentoring role,” Miller said. “To Anthony, I would say it looks more like a father figure role.”

Assistant principal Andrew Ashcraft originally worked at SMS but then transitioned over to the high school. Ashcraft first met Rains at the middle school but doesn’t feel that had a great impact on him until high school.

Ashcraft feels as if he is just one of Rains’s “guardrails.” A person’s guardrail, as Ashcraft describes, is someone who helps keep them on the right track. Ashcraft has Rains’s father’s death date marked in his calendar so that he can make sure to talk to him on that day.

Rains created a presentation that he shares with freshmen about his struggles and how he has overcome them. Ashcraft had the chance to sit in on one of these and says that Rains’s presentation allowed students to open up about their own personal struggles.

“I think that so many of our students don’t know that they’re in the same spot,” Ashcraft said. “Different mud, same spot.”

Rains is currently trying to get better grades and do better in school along with trying harder to stay out of trouble. He also has surrounded himself with a new group of friends to help him stay on the right track.

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2 Responses to “Sophomore overcomes his past”

  1. Glenn Graves on February 23rd, 2019 11:07 am

    I first met Anthony, over at Christian Park. He played football on the Christian Park Vikings which I was an assistant coach. Anthony and myself did not get along very well at first because he did not like the way that I coach, I am an old school coach I demand respect and I get it. Anthony wanted to do things his way, and that was just not happening. I leaned hard on him and I did not cut him any slack at all in fact I demanded more out of him because the following year I had plans of making him captain of my defense. The next year him and myself became pretty good friends is an awesome linebacker. The day that I found out that he lost his dad, was the day that touched my heart. You see I lost my dad when I was 13 to lung cancer I had a long talk with Anthony I told him the road that you will be going down is going to be a rough one, but I made it and so can you. I also had a father figure who was a schoolteacher at school number 37 Charles Page III, Was rough on me and guided me through some of the toughest times of my life. Anthony Rains and myself have a lot in common. I am 57 years old & I still talk to my Father Figure!
    Charles Page III or Coach Page. Anthony, I hope that I have had a good impact on your life. If you ever need me or to talk just ask I am here.
    Coach Glenn

  2. Bailey Downs on March 13th, 2019 3:19 pm

    I’ve know Anthony since middle school him and I have had our ups and downs but I can’t say how proud I am to see him growing and blossoming as this wonderful independent young man. Keep doing what you’re doing Anthony I’m so proud of you.

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