by Linda K. Bourassa.
At the early age of 9 years old, the young man of our story was lured into a gang. Gang life led him to criminal activity, trouble with the law and gunfire attacks on his family’s home. His distraught mother was able to get him relocated to another state to live with relatives in order to save his life. Sadly, his difficulties continued and he lived with an assortment of family friends, then in a series of unsuccessful placements with foster care and group homes.
All that changed when he landed at Youth Villages here in Memphis at the ripe age of 17, and found placement in another foster care home. Through the programs at Youth Villages which provide counseling to help youth with their goals in education, employment and finding housing, our young man is on track to graduate from high school this coming May. His goal upon graduation? He wants to leave behind his difficult youth and join the military.
His Youth Villages transitional living specialist, Cason Crain, took him to a local recruiting office for information where he was told they do not accept recruits with tattoos visible below the middle of the elbow. That would be a big problem as his arms were heavily tattooed, first with gang markings and then later with art to cover and hide them.
Now, Crain had taken another Youth Villages teen to get a small tattoo removed at Dermatology Realm in Germantown. This was a whole different story. The extensive arm tattooing would take many treatments over months or years to completely remove. Dr. Adam Baker, owner of Dermatology Realm, was moved by the youth’s difficulties from such an early age and admired his determination to turn his life around, so he offered to provide the tattoo removal services at no charge for the youth.
Denise LaForce, medical aesthetician at Dermatology Realm, recently provided the first of the removal treatments. A young man can turn his life around and get a fresh start. He just needs the right support systems like those provided at Youth Villages and a little help from amazing friends like Dr. Adam Baker. Dr. Adam Baker was moved by the youth’s difficulties from such an early age and admired his determination to turn his life around, so he offered to provide the tattoo removal services at no charge for the youth.