We recently received a letter from a young man who has been involved in our Transition Age Youth program. It warmed our hearts to hear, in his own words, what it felt like to overcome many of his challenges and gain hope for the future. We want to share his letter with you, but first let's answer the questions that you may have...
What are Transition Age Youth?
Transition Age Youth are clients between 15 and 24 years old who are moving towards adulthood and in many cases, independence. This is a critical time for them to receive support and guidance, especially those in foster care who may still be overcoming trauma and lack a standard family support structure. Our Transition Age Youth, or TAY programs focus on equipping clients with the skills they need to function as highly as possible. Our services address all identified transition needs including employment, educational opportunities, living situations, community life, medication, mental health, physical well being, drug and alcohol use, trauma, domestic violence, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
A Journey from Despair to Hope
The letter of gratitude that we received from this particular young man, illustrates the dramatic change that is possible for young men and women, when they have the right support structure and put in the work. He has turned his life in a new and positive direction. He went from struggling with negativity and self-destructive behavior, to having a positive outlook on life, a new job and hope for the future. Let's hear it in his own words.
I've been at TAY since I was 18 years old. In the beginning of my mental illness I was 15 years old. I started to smoke marijuana at age thirteen and soon enough I was diagnosed at the age of fifteen. I've had many different experiences, going to the psychiatric hospitals, getting angry, being destructive and thinking I hear voices.
Before, I had a different perspective about how I would see things, but my therapist always had hope for me. All I needed was a time of healing, experiences to change my perspective, and the love and compassion from my support peers and family. At TAY I have learned to manage my thoughts, my anxiety and temper, and realizing what I'm grateful for and also realizing that it's sometimes all in my mind.
With the support of TAY I've been able to accomplish many things.
- With time, I've been able to manage my anxiety in many cases
- I've been able to get my high school diploma at Come Back Kids
- I was able to graduate from San Joaquin Valley College with perfect attendance
- I've been able to get along with my family at home
- I've been able to feel better about my self esteem and how I see myself
- With practice, my MHRS's I've been able to set boundaries when it's right to do so
- I've been able to get a job at a chiropractic clinic
- My perspective has changed a lot, and now I feel like a healthy young man with lots of love, awaiting what life has in store for me.
- I have been able to stay clean and sober by the grace of God
Before, I was afraid, very sensitive and ready to attack because of my negative experiences. Even though it's hard sometimes to this day, I know my perspective has changed and I'm not the person I used to be. Life is a lot easier not having to fight my old fears I used to have. I'm thankful for my Mom, who has always showed affection and compassion, and a higher power for guiding me spiritually, and my friends and family who are willing to help me when I'm in need and correct my negative thinking pattern.
I've accomplished so much and I want to thank TAY for their courage and support. I want to thank Shane, my first therapist, Ruby, Stephanie, Adeola and Cheyenne for always giving me 110% support. I love you guys and thanks for the hard work you have put into me. Stephanie, thanks for being right to the point with me and being able to realize what's possible.
Thank you all, I know I have just a few more months here at TAY, but I will miss you guys and you will be a part of my life that I'll never forget. I got out of a negative thinking pattern and old habits by the grace of God, my support, friends and family. I have moved forward a thousand times and will never turn back because I don't want to feel like I used to feel.
It's Our Job to Make a Difference
It's stories like these that keep us motivated every day. Make no mistake, this is hard work for both the clients and the staff, but together we are capable of creating real and lasting change in people's lives. If you're looking for a career with meaningful work, making a positive difference in someone's life, consider a career with Victor.