Episode Title: 18-Year-Old Male: Homeschool / Major Surgery / Bullying
Listen to Frank share his scary experience after he discovered he literally had a hole in his heart
In this episode of A Teen’s Perspective, host Dr. RJ Jackson interviews Frank, an 18-year-old male. Frank recently graduated from high school and is now a camera salesman and photographer. Together they discuss Frank’s upbringing, his traumatic surgery in his childhood, being bullied in middle school, and his unconventional career path after graduating high school.
Frank grew up in a Christian household. He attended a public elementary school and then transitioned to a charter school in the sixth grade. However, during high school,
Frank did online schooling from home. His whole family has a family-first approach to life. With his schooling from home, his family pushed him into social situations. During
high school, he also took college-level classes at a local community college. Frank talks about the hard realities of attending a public university at age 15. His family encouraged
and supported him emotionally through this time. Frank states that while social media does help us to interact with others, it is not a place to make trustworthy friends; it is a
place to reconnect with people you already know. Frank talks about how he did attend school sports, including BMX biking. He also enjoyed fixing cars as a hobby, which really
bonded him to his father during high school.
Frank discusses the hardships of his father being both his parent and his teacher. He talks about how his father made the transition to becoming his friend Frank’s senior
year. Frank shares some of the large life lessons his father has taught him, such as learning how to manage yourself before taking care of others. Frank’s parents also made
him work for his belongings to teach him a lesson in finances. He credits his parents’ lessons to his success today. Frank discusses the discipline he experienced in his
household as well. There were many groundings during his upbringing. He and his father yelled at each other during this time, but Frank recalls that after the yelling he felt
terrible about what it did to his family.
Frank also describes his traumatic heart surgery during middle school. He had an appendectomy and open-heart surgery in the same year and he was so weary from
being sick. During this time, Frank fought off depression with the love and support of his friends and family. This hard experience forced Frank to mature in a short amount of
time. During this time, he was also coming out of a bullying experience at his charter school. However, with the help of his parents and the online school, Frank was able to
move past the bullying. He felt so loved by his mother and highly protected by his father during these struggles. Frank says that during this hardship of bullying and surgery, he
grew further from God and his faith. However, Frank did grow closer to his church and the community, which in turn drew him back toward his faith. Frank states that it is
important for parents to listen to their children. With children participating in social media, a parent may not fully understand what their child is going through.
Frank discusses where he is now and his plans for the future. He graduated at the top of his class and instead of attending college, he decided to go into the workforce. He talks
about how his parents are handling him not attending college for the time being as he gains work experience. Frank shares his childhood encounters with auto racing that
spurred on his dream of taking photographs for Formula 1 racing.
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