Student Profiles

For those of us living in the comfort and security of middle-class America, the situations that some of our students have endured are almost impossible to even imagine. But thanks to the support of our friends, Mountain Mission school has been able to offer hundreds of children a safe haven and a new life in Christ…turning bitter tragedies into powerful testimonies. Here are just a few:

If you’ve been encouraged and blessed by these profiles, and would like to be put on our mailing list to receive future profile cards when we mail them out, please send an email to, or call Tami at 276-2954 x1120.


Before moving here I grew up with my mom who was addicted to drugs. I rarely attended school because she was never sober enough to take me. At MMS I feel safe because I know the people here really care about me. I am able to go to school and get a great education.

Since I was 7 years old I dreamed of one day becoming a doctor who would deliver babies. I feel that’s what God wants me to be. I think that’s why he brought me to Mountain Mission School. Being here is part of the journey to living my dream. God is making my path straight and I am excited about my future.

— Salome


I grew up in a family of seven kids in a really bad part of Louisville. It was a very hard time for us, especially when my little sister was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. I don’t think my mom was handling it all well, because she started drinking. My dad was just sad most of the time.

I kept wondering where God was in all of this.

My mom went to rehab and all of us kids were sent to different places. I was put into foster care. Later on throughout my life, God turned my life around. God gave me a chance to go to a summer camp. The director knew about Mountain Mission School and suggested it for me since things were not good back at home.

I like it here. I can get all the help I need. I don’t have to stress about home. I can focus on my schoolwork. God is good in many ways.

— Kanyange


Where I lived wasn’t a very safe place. It was just me, my mom, and my sisters. My dad is in prison for doing a very bad thing. We didn’t have a lot of food, and my mom said it wasn’t safe at home, so she brought me to Mountain Mission School.

It is a whole lot better here than I imagined it would be. The food is really good, and I have learned about Jesus and how He watches over me. When I grow up, I want to go to college and then into the Air Force so I can protect people.

Right now, I am here at MMS, but that’s OK because it is a very beautiful and safe place.

— Keyone


My parents brought me and my sister to MMS when I was three.

Growing up here for most of my life, MMS redefined family for me. I am so thankful for the staff. Even though they are not my biological parents, I have felt so secured and loved by them. They believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They have inspired me to make a difference and pay it forward into the lives of others.

I will be attending George Mason University in the fall, where I will double-major in Business and Rehabilitation Science. I hope to own my own physical therapy facility.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be without MMS. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me to grow up here.

— Mae


I feel protected here at MMS. I feel loved here. And I love my teachers here.

They tell me that when I grow up, I can do anything I want. When I grow up , I want two jobs. I want to be a doctor to save people’s lives. And I want to be a scientist to make new discoveries in medicine or in the starts.

I also get to learn about Jesus at MMS. This means I’m never lonely. And if I’m ever sad, I think about Jesus and He always cheers me up.

— Yonatan


I came to Mountain Mission School when I was 16, homeless and flunking out of High School. Having moved countless times looking for a stable home, Mountain Mission School has been a safe haven for me. It’ a blessing to not have to worry about where my next meal will come from or having to find a safe place to sleep. MMS has provided me with an excellent education that will help me towards my dream of being a pharmacist or therapist. With God’s help, I plan on attending Emory & Henry in the fall. I am thankful for all He has provided to give me a hope and a future. Thank you for your sponsorship —it has opened the world to me.

— Roosevelt, 2016 Graduate


I started playing trumpet just a year ago, not long before I moved to MMS. I want to be a musician when I grow up and worship the Lord with my trumpet. I love Psalm 150 because it talks about praising the Lord with my trumpet.

Soccer is my favorite sport, but I love basketball, too. I never played basketball before coming to MMS. I’m still learning English, but my favorite subject is Math. I like MMS because it is a good school and I get time to play and practice my trumpet.

My dad always told me to help two or more people when I grow up. MMS is helping me do that. Thank you!

— Emmanuel


DanielSometimes Mountain Mission provides children from intact families opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable. Daniel was from an impoverished family in Portugal that had little hope of offering their son an education or a future. For Daniel, a basketball camp proved to be the bridge between Portugal and Virginia.

“I went to an NBA camp, and I think I got the attention of the president and vice-president of the camp. They said Mountain Mission School in America would be the best school for me.”

Here at MMS, Daniel’s skills advanced so much that he is the first MMS student ever to sign a national letter of intent for a Division I school. He’ll be attending Valparaiso University in Indiana this fall on a basketball scholarship, and this summer will be returning to Portugal to compete on the national team in the Portuguese Basketball Federation.

Mountain Mission has provided Daniel the educational opportunities that were beyond the reach of his family in Portugal, enabling him to discover his strengths in technical studies, and giving him new direction. “I want to play professional basketball, but if I don’t, I’d like to go into Mechanical Engineering.”

Asked what he has liked best about MMS, Daniel has a quick reply. “The studies, everything. All the teachers help you. If you need something, they come to you individually and explain it to you. I never had anything like that in Portugal.”


Seventy years after Jimmy’s arrival (see story below), Mountain Mission still offers a home to children in tragic circumstances. Just a few months ago, little two-year-old Mulki came to our door in a situation not unlike Jimmy’s. Her mother had died during childbirth, and her father was having difficulty raising Mulki and her brother. The father, a refugee from Africa, had a job, but it was far from his home, and childcare was a constant struggle.

Without a family he could turn to for help—and after exhausting the assistance from local agencies—the father extended a heartfelt plea to Mountain Mission: “I am in a troubled situation. I request that Mountain Mission School see my situation, my problem, to understand and help me and the children. I want them to grow up at the school. I need emergency help.”

Mountain Mission was able to answer his cry, and today, Mulki and her brother have the safe, stable environment her father so desperately desired for his children.

Jimmy Hooker

JimmyMountain Mission is the only home some children have ever known. That was true for Jimmy Hooker, who arrived at Mountain Mission when tragedy struck his family.

“I was brought to Mountain Mission after my mother died in 1942,” Jimmy recalls. “I was four years old. There were three of us: my two sisters were six and eight. My father couldn’t take care of all of us after we lost our mother, so I lived here all the time until I went into the Air Force. It’s been home…it’s still home. That’s why I always say I come from Mountain Mission School.”

Now retired, Jimmy looks back on his years at Mountain Mission and sees the enduring benefits it brought to his life.

“For me, Mountain Mission taught me how to work, how to make a living, how to be respectful…and they taught me about the Lord Jesus Christ. You couldn’t ask for anybody to teach you anything better than that—to love the Lord and be a part of His kingdom. They gave me direction in life, and that’s what they’re doing for the kids here now.”