Adam Farrell was going down a road that scared him during his high school career before he moved to the Exeter Township School District.The 18-year-old attended five high schools in the past several years. Farrell said while living with his sister, he asked to be put into foster care after getting into a fight that resulted in another teen being hospitalized.
"I knew I had to get out of there," he said, "I didn't want to get in any more trouble."
Peter Warchal, Farrell's guidance counselor at Exeter Township High School, said moving to Exeter and living with positive role models turned Farrell in the right direction.
"He (Farrell) had a transient kind of lifestyle and if he didn't come to Exeter to stabilize his life he may have gotten into a lot of bad situations," Warchal said. "I'm really happy his life has been stabilized because he could have gotten into trouble if he didn't come to Exeter."
Warchal said Farrell has had "time to reflect on his talents and move forward." Farrell said while living with his sister in 2006 and attending Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Pa., he continuous-would get into fights.
He said that the fighting was going on when an ex-girlfriend, Jess, started dating a friend of his. The friend's friends were turned against him.
After the fight where the other teen was hospitalized, Farrell was sent to a house near Scranton and attended Abington Heights High School.
"Things didn't work out there," Farrell said. "I was so used to having my freedom (before) and I couldn't go and hang out with my friends. I flipped out (yelled) on the foster parents for no reason."
Then the teen was moved to foster parents he had lived with when he was 12 or 14 in Dallas, Pa., and attended Dallas High School.
"It went pretty good for a while," Farrell said. "I had friends there. But then another foster kid came in and had a big influence on me. He flipped out on the foster parents and had that 'I don't care attitude.' I started flipping out on the foster parents too."
Farrell said moving around didn't bother him and that he dealt with it by just thinking about the future.
After moving away from Dallas, Farrell living with new foster parents in the spring of 2007 in Susquehanna County. He said he attended Mountain View High School where he made a lot of friends.
The problem with the situation became the problem with other places he had lived-lack of freedom and was moved after punching a hole in the wall.
In June 2007, Farrell stayed at a shelter for troubled teens for 90 days in Clarks Summit, Pa. He lived there with five other teens and said felt isolated.
Then Farrell was moved to a foster home with an African American couple in Reading and attended Reading High School. Farrell said the people were good foster parents.
Farrell said that he had trouble adjusting at the school due to race.
"Being from up north, it was easier to mingle with kids of my own race," he said. "I was one of the only white kids in the school (at Reading High School.)"
Farrell said that he felt intimidated due to the lack of racial diversity in the school.
He was connected with Bill and Rose Marie Lezette in Exeter during October 2007.
"At first Rose Marie was strict but now she adjusts more to my needs and wants," he said. "Bill is very very generous and wants me to succeed."
Bill Lezette said that Farrell didn't want to listen to him and his wife at first and was defiant.
"Now he is more patient," Lezette said.
He said his advice to Farrell while they were living together was to keep his temper under control and respect authority.
Farrell said that he was living with the Lezettes through a different foster care agency than what he had in the past that allowed him to hang out with friends as long as the foster parents meet his friends' parents.
He said he wanted to thank Warchal in addition to his foster parents.
"He's the one that prepared me for college," Farrell said. "He's been the biggest help I've had besides my foster parents."
He said last fall he was about to sign himself out of foster care but found out he could receive assistance for college if he stayed in the foster care program.
He said it wasn't easy to pick the right friends at first but now he has a group of good friends he can trust.
He said a difference between the other schools he has attended and Exeter are that the teachers are really nice.
"They really know what they're doing," he said. "They make work a little more fun so you pay attention."
Farrell also thanked his grandma who helped him through hardships.
In the fall, Farrell is going back home to the Scranton area to live with his grandmother and will attend Lackawanna College. He said that he is planning to pursue a career in computer science.
His advice to others is "look to the optimistic side of things."