James Chitwood spent 8 years in Georgia's Foster Care System.
James “Chase” Chitwood of Waleska, Georgia has been “one of Goshen Valley Boys Ranch’s longest and strongest residents. He inspires and encourages the staff and everyone who walks out to our campus” writes his nominator. He is known by others for his strength of spirit and his desire for excellence. He will graduate this spring from high school and move on to university work where he hopes to pursue politics and business. His high school accomplishments have included student government, National Honor Society where he served at local nursing homes and led community garden clean up; he also organized volunteers in food and clothing drives. Chase participated in the fellowship of Christian Athletes at Cherokee High School. Cross country has been an athletic calling to Chase for three years for his high school while track team drew him for two years. He had been named a “Student of the Week” at his high school. His membership on the leadership team led to a “Fields of Faith” worship night attracting over 2000 attendees. Chase plays guitar and sings at his church in Canton, Georgia; he has volunteered at the Atlanta Safe House and at River of Life in Macon, Georgia. His faith commitment is measured in part by his involvement in Cherokee County YMCA teen leadership, the FCA leadership team, and in the Liberty Hill UMC youth leadership. He is presently serving an internship program at the Cherokee County Courthouse. Chase has been in and out of foster care for eight years; he has moved frequently especially from age 8 to 10. He and his sister were moved to foster homes for two years initially, were returned to be with their mother on two occasions, and were moved again to foster homes at their own request. Chase lived in three different foster homes until he found his way to Goshen Valley Boys Ranch in July of 2006, where he has resided for a span of five years. At Goshen Valley he has been recognized as Student of the Year and has also received a Certificate for Georgia Teen Work in 2009. He has stated that he “is thankful to God for being in foster care and wants to use his experience to help so many other people.” He hopes to use his gifts to make an on others.