Throughout history, terrapins have been a celebrated creature. In Chinese culture, turtles are viewed as a symbol of power and longevity. In Hindu mythology, the world rests on the backs of four elephants who stand atop a turtle shell and the story of the tortoise and the hare is a familiar one – slow and steady wins the race.
As a whole, turtles are seen as wise, patient and easygoing - traits that are also found in Targeted Case Managers who go above and beyond for their clients.
Community Partners’ Anthony is one of these TCMs and a devoted “turtle person.” The proud owner of an eight-year-old Argentinian Red Footed Tortoise, Anthony has an in-depth knowledge of how much owning a pet like this can enrich someone’s life.
At the young age of 13, Julian was already feeling the weight of academic pressure. His parents were strict and pushed him to study to the point where it overwhelmed him and he just shut down.
He came to Community Partners, connected with therapist Larissa and Targeted Case Manager Anthony and soon enough, there was a dramatic change in his demeanor.
Anthony made it a point to verbally praise Julian and helped teach his parents the importance of balance in regards to their young son’s social and academic life.
Thanks to this regimen, Julian’s grades improved by a letter grade in each subject, he was getting along with his family and he even started participating in the school’s soccer and chorus programs.
Knowing that he loved amphibians, Julian’s parents and Anthony decided to reward him for his hard work.
“A family on my caseload was moving and couldn’t take their 20-year-old turtle with them. I told them I’d help find the old guy (or girl, who can tell?) a good home,” Anthony explained.
“Since the turtle was hatched and lived in captivity for 20 years, letting it go in a local wetland preserve would be unadvisable as it would just be setting him up to be a victim of predation as their survival skills diminish.”
Once he got Julian’s parents’ approval, Anthony introduced Speedy to his new owner and helped him set up an aquarium.
Speedy and Julian have been together for a while now and they’re enjoying each other’s company. In fact, Julian’s therapist has seen such a marked improvement in her client that he will be ending services at Community Partners very shortly.
The good news doesn’t end there. Thanks to a generous financial contribution from the Targeted Case Management department, Julian will be heading off to New York City with his chorus group on the annual school trip – a memorable adventure on which he can’t wait to embark.
“This was and continues to be a success story,” said Anthony. “And I’m happy to have played my part in it.”
All it took to Change The Odds for Julian was a little patience, a little wisdom and a little turtle named Speedy.