Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga. Celebrates its 60th Anniversary

SAVANNAH, Ga. - GeorgiaChron -- As a teenager, Paris Nelson of Savannah, Ga., never expected to be honored as a "Gold Medalist for Life." Today, the 27-year old holds an advanced degree, manages a hotel resort, and lives a happy and relatively peaceful life. It could have been the exact opposite of what he is experiencing now if not for Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.

Paul Anderson, who was declared "the strongest man in the world" after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift. Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices which were throwing their lives away. Along with his wife Glenda, who still maintains quite a presence at the Home, the Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1961.

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PAYH celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year with a specific goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.

Nelson is one of six distinguished alumni recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives and named "Gold Medalists for Life."

In tandem with the 60th Anniversary and the award, an awareness campaign encompassing print and digital channels will focus on stories like his, targeting prosecutors, law enforcement, legal aid, social services, parent groups, churches and other organizations who could intervene and keep a troubled boy or young man from prison and put them on track to change their lives.

By the time he was 16, Nelson's life was out of control. He was involved with drugs and theft and finally landed in jail. Luckily, his parents and lawyer found PAYH, and he was able to avoid prison.

"I needed hope and they were there to help me," Nelson said.

To hear the rest of Nelson's story watch his video or visit

Source: Cecilia Russo Marketing
Filed Under: Education

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