By: Bonnie Sharpe On: August 10, 2020 In: News Item Comments: 0

Jeana’s Story: “The World Takes You to New Places”

Jeana’s childhood was filled with negativity – lots of “you’re going to end up like your addict mother” and “you’ll never graduate high school” – but she knew her past did not define her future.  Jeana was committed to doing whatever it takes, however many times it takes, to move toward her life goals.

After stabilizing in a transitional housing program, Jeana found herself backsliding, “I got pregnant and went to live with my birth mom. That did not do me any good because it put me back on the streets. I ended up having to still find my own way.”

After months of couch surfing and temporary housing, Jeana eventually fell into despair. She wanted a better life for her daughter. In that moment, Jeana believed her best option was to temporarily place her daughter with her paternal grandparents while she secured a better living situation.

That’s when Jeana called Extraordinary Families. She was immediately connected to our Director of Programs, Dr. Kayla Wright, and UP4Youth Manager, David Torres. Together, the three of them put together a plan of action and figured out a housing solution.

“When David came into my life, that is when the excitement came. I felt like this was the very first person who ever cared about me in my whole entire life, besides my daughter. He was making things happen. Though life was still rough, he made sure to call me, even if I didn’t answer.”

After diligent work, Jeana and her daughter moved into an apartment complex among other youth in similar situations. She was connected to benefits, meals, and other essentials. Her newfound stability allowed her to imagine life beyond solving an immediate crisis and focus on building a stable future for her daughter. In working with our UP4Youth program, Jeana developed an individual plan of success, identifying her education plans, employment goal, and other life skills necessary to succeed.

Today, Jeana has completed her security guard training and is working on finding a position that supports a mother’s schedule. She is attending courses to become a certified Office Medical Assistant, with dreams of owning her own business. Extraordinary Families continues to support Jeana on her life journey with basic essentials such as grocery gift cards and clothes for her growing daughter, and with individualized counseling, support groups, workshops and important life skills training.

“I have received a lot of blessings since Kayla and David and Extraordinary Families came into my life. The world takes you to new places and you just have to keep your head up and keep pushing forward.”

We are very proud to celebrate Jeana as one our inspiring UP4Youth participants.

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