The love for and belief in J’Von by his mentors, served as some of the earliest seeds for what has blossomed into OpenDoors of Asheville.

Before his learning differences were diagnosed, J’Von struggled in traditional school. He couldn’t keep up with his studies, so he went for the laughs instead – becoming the class clown and a major disruption. His mother knew where this path could lead her son and wanted to get him on a better course.

With the help of OpenDoors, J’Von’s severe dyslexia was diagnosed and steps were taken to get him the help he needed. On scholarship, J’Von now attends Gow School – a boarding school for kids with significant learning challenges. Going away to school brought challenges of its own, but after year one, J’Von was aching to get back for year two. His reading rate has nearly doubled and his fluency has almost tripled.

With that success has come confidence, and J’Von now has new goals for himself. In fact, he told one of his mentors before returning to Gow as a Sophomore, “This year, I’m not going to be the funny guy. I’m not going to be a distraction. I want to be the laid-back guy that everyone comes to for help, that everyone looks up to.”

We just heard from one of Jvon’s teachers and it sounds like J’von is well on his way to becoming the person he wants to be…

“From personal experience, I can tell you that J’Von impresses me each time I’m in his presence. As a student in my 10th grade English class, he exemplifies a young man with the want to learn. It is my opinion that J’Von truly sees the benefits of a Gow education and he is truly trying to be the athlete,scholar and gentleman that he knows he can be. His persona certainly fits the role. He’s surrounding himself with a strong network of friends and he’s taking advantage of his and his teachers’ time in Study hall. I’m just amazed by J’Von. He’s making important decisions himself and he’s growing into a very special young man.”

Mr. Brendan Tarry, Reconstructive Language Teacher and Head Squash Coach, The Gow School

Every student who has graduated from Gow School since 1926 has attended college. Those are the kinds of doors being opened daily, with the relationships and sponsors built through OpenDoors of Asheville.

J’Von’s wish he shared with his mentors of “just wanting an education” has grown into something so much more.