Tom was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Big city life contributed to his struggle with concentration, and he was easily distracted, acting out at a young age. Mental illness slowly progressed but Tom remained hopeful that he eventually would feel good. At age 16, he started a medicine regimen.
Struggling with his illness after high school graduation, Tom worked in construction. Though his medications made him feel better, he searched for a happier mental place. He spent time at another residential farm where he rediscovered the passion for art he had as a child. After returning home, he continued his painting journey.
In 2020, Tom still felt unsettled, so he searched for another therapeutic farm and fell in love with Hopewell. He said, “I found my support system at Hopewell. I benefited with the help of the community and being around so many wonderful people, especially the staff.” His family visited often and stayed in Hopewell’s guest house.
At Hopewell, Tom explored EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), walked in nature for Ecotherapy, and took his creative talents to a new level. He said, “I fell in love with art. I was drawn to rustic pop art and expressionism, mixing realistic things with whimsical stuff.”
Tom also experimented with golf, buying a golf net and his first set of golf clubs. Tom said, “Golf has opened new doors for peace, strength, and creativity. It is a time to be in nature, and to practice my concentration.”
In the fall of 2021, Tom left the farm and moved to Hopewell’s University Circle Transition Program so he could live independently and experience the art scene. After working at the Cleveland Zoo for a few months, he currently concentrates on his art. We are happy to announce that Tom’s beautiful paintings will be at Amore Gallery, in Cleveland’s Little Italy, from May 5 through May 31. Please stop by and see his art.
“Hopewell was a beautiful place to celebrate recovery,” Tom said. “I remember the work I did and the many things I learned. I am more diligent in my creative endeavors, and I am a happier person."back to success stories
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