Fifteen-year-old Maurice is a teen who is confident he is going places.

On a sultry summer day in the cavernous Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe, the place Maurice is going to is about three stories off of the ground. It’s Maurice’s first time rock climbing, but with the guidance and goading of rock gym owner Paul Diefenderfer, Maurice is able to reach the top of the wall not once, but twice.

“I climbed about 30 feet high,” Maurice says with a smile.

While rock climbing is fun and challenging, football remains Maurice’s favorite activity.

“Maurice is obsessed with anything football related,” said James Patton, a youth advocate with Christian Family Care. “He loves to throw a football and talk about football all day.”

Maurice said he likes to play quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and free safety. He hopes to be part of the team when he starts high school this fall. His favorite teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals.

The move to high school is a big step for Maurice, Patton said, adding “he is improving in his school work.”

While Maurice jokes that his favorite subject is PE, he says he also likes science.

When not in school or playing football, Maurice likes to play games on his iPad and eat Chinese food. He also enjoys music.

“I like Drake,” he said.

Patton said Maurice would thrive in a forever family with two parents experienced with children with special needs. It would be best if Maurice was an only child or the youngest child, Patton adds.

Watch the stories of children in foster care waiting on forever families each week on the Wednesday’s Child segment each week between 5-6 a.m. on Channel 12 (KPNX). You can also view previously aired stories at

For more information on children eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602-930-4900, or visit