SC Teen in Foster Care Gets a Car and a Family
A teen who spent most of his life in foster care received a special gift on Friday - a car. Eighteen-year-old Johnathan Small received the car from the South Carolina Foster Parent Association's On the Road Again Program.
"I'm really happy, really happy," Small said, "than ever before."
Alan Mullinax, Johnathan's foster parent says he could not be happier for Johnathan.
"This is a big thing for him," Mullinax said, "he's not used to having big things happen."
Mullinax also fosters Johnathan's younger brother Sam, and says they have not had the easiest life.
"They were just moved around from home to home until they were abused so bad that they were just withdrawn," Mullinax said.
"When something comes in my way I just don't let it bother me," Johnathan said, "I just keep on going, keep on working, do not give up, keep on moving."
"The fact that he has obstacles," said Taron Davis, Director of Child Welfare at the Department of Social Services, "all of that woven into the story makes it all the more heartwarming."
Davis says this is more than a car, it is about feeling like a normal kid.
"He can get himself to his job, he can go on a date," Davis said, "so these little things we take for granted everyday are huge."
"Think about it, your first car!" exclaimed Carl Brown, Executive Director of the South Carolina Foster Parent Association. "That's so important, gee whiz. I remember those days, everybody does."
Brown says this is their 130th car giveaway, but it always feels like their first.
"It's like you've never done it before," Brown said, "it's exhilarating to see them and to feel what they feel."
For Johnathan, that feeling is independence.
"Now, I can do this myself," Johnathan said. "Start living on my own, start learning some experiences for myself."
An idea that has Mullinax feeling good too.
"I'll have more access to MY vehicle," Mullinax laughed.
Mullinax says he and his wife are now in the process of adopting Johnathan and Sam. Johnathan will start at Trident Tech next week.
This article originally appeared on wfmynews2.com.