Adriana, 19, has been in every major Youth Villages program in Massachusetts.
When she was 13, Adriana and her family were helped by our Intercept intensive in-home services. When she needed residential help, Adriana came to our Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus for girls in Arlington. Now, after 18, she is participating in our YVLifeSet program that helps young people get a good start on independent adulthood.
“Youth Villages never gave up on me,” she said. “I’m eternally grateful to the counselors and staff who saw the better part of me.”
Adriana’s behavior issues may stem from abuse from age 4 to 6. “The last time it happened, the little girl in me died. The world looked different. The adults in my life seemed different,” she says.
She began to act out. Her mother used corporal punishment as discipline. When protective services stepped in, Adrianna was 13 and Sara, a family specialist from Youth Villages’ Intercept program, stepped in. But, Adriana’s acting out continued.
At 15, she gave birth to a son – who was placed in kinship foster care with her grandfather. Later, Adriana came to our residential campus for more intensive help. Sara, now a counselor at Germaine Lawrence, was there to help.
Adriana learned how to approach her trauma disorder and found stability. Now, she is a working mom, living with a second son and his father.
Life is still not easy, but with YVLifeSet’s support, she is happy, productive and healthy. Working with her specialist Barb, she’s looking forward to achieving her goals: a driver’s license, a voucher for day care and completing her education.
“I believe, with a program like Youth Villages, children really can overcome the inevitable,” she said.