For years, Allen Green, 33, chose not to talk about his painful childhood and how he grew up in poverty, had two parents in jail and no support at home.

“I was always a smart kid but your self-esteem tends to go away or diminish when your family life or your home components are just not there,” said Green.

Green said he was a “broken kid.”

“I didn’t have friends. I probably went to school just to eat lunch and then I left after that,” said Green.

He dropped out of middle school and that’s when some concerned teachers took him in.

Green then bounced around from foster home to foster home.

Despite those difficult circumstances, Green grew up to thrive.

He eventually found a loving family and a place where he felt like he belonged at Bethel Bible Village.

“This is where it all started which is why I’m so in tune with Bethel and I’m so grateful to be a part of their life and them to be a part of my life. It’s like a really big extended family,” said Green.

Green learned responsibility, accountability and important life lessons.

He credits his house parents, Deborah and Floyd Richardson with guiding him and helping him to grow spiritually. “He was very sharp, very attentive, he listened and you didn’t have to tell him anything more than once,” said Floyd Richardson. Green said he felt loved at Bethel Bible Village.

“Every game, everybody came to the games with big signs so you know it was my family and that’s what I knew now as my new way of life,” Green told Channel 3.

Green graduated from high school, went to college at UTC and he’s been helping people ever since.

He is a firefighter with the Chattanooga Fire Department.

When he’s not saving lives on the job, he’s changing lives through a new non-profit he created PPCH, which stands for Pain, Perseverance, Character and Hope, to mentor at-risk young boys.

“Allen’s story is the perfect example of what we do. Allen came as a boy. He found hope and he found a future at Bethel. Along with that, he had encouragement and guidance and love from his house parents,” said Bethel Bible Village Interim President and CEO Cecil Hammontree.

Today, Green no longer shies away from sharing his testimony. He uses it to inspire children who are in crisis like he was.

“To realize that there is hope, there is a future and that life can be better for them. It’s just an encouragement to them that they can make something of themselves,” said Green.

In addition to being a father, a firefighter and the founder of a non-profit, Green is also a house manager at Orange Grove. He’s a little league football coach. He visits local schools and mentors children in the neighborhoods he works in and he still finds time to bring his ministry to Bethel Bible Village where he first found healing and hope.

If you know someone in our community who is making a difference, let Lori Mitchell know about that person by emailing her at lmitchell@wrcbtv.com.