“I have a future, thanks to Stanford Youth Solutions"
“I have a future, thanks to Stanford Youth Solutions,“ says LaDauwn. LaDauwn is a recent graduate from our wraparound program. “Growing up in Oak Park, having a mother using drugs, no contact with my father, my life was not easy. I’ve been abused, neglected and believed I had no future, and I didn’t care. I’ve been told I’m nothing and I believed it. I began using drugs, fighting and ended up bouncing from juvenile hall to group homes with no real connection to my family, friends, or school.
Even when I was doing all of this, I knew it wasn’t right. I just didn’t know what else to do. Until I found out I was pregnant. I knew I needed help and I wanted my baby to have a better life. When Stanford Youth Solutions came to the group home in Stockton to help me, I knew this was my chance and I was going to take it. In fact, our first session together discussing how to get me back to Sacramento and reconnect with safe family, I went into labor. I was so determined to do well, that I waited until we were finished to let them know.
Stanford Youth Solutions helped me see that I had choices and I could choose any path I wanted. I’ve been asked what changed for me. I remember a car ride with my Stanford Youth Solutions facilitator. I had a bad day, family issues, had just gotten some bad news from the group home about my move date and I was ready to give up. She wouldn’t let me. She reminded me how far I’d come, what my goals were, that I was worthy of the new life I wanted and that my baby deserved this new life. That clicked. They never gave up on me and have always been there to support me when there was an issue.
Today, I feel like Super Woman! I can do anything I set my mind to and I will. I’m not fighting, not doing drugs or drinking; I’m back in school getting my high school diploma. I’m living with my cousin in a safe place. And even though I’m not using Stanford Youth Solutions’s services any longer, I am strong and know I will make it. I have big plans for me and my daughter.
Thank you Stanford Youth Solutions!