Meet Stephen: Rebounding into Success

Written by Workhorse Marketing

Setting firm limits for your children and standing by them is difficult for any parent.  It’s no different for our staff but it’s those limits that helped us to earn Stephen’ trust and ultimately helped him learned to make good decisions for himself.

Our Transitional Living Program offers more freedom to youth because they are learning to be adults and with that they need to learn to make responsible decisions or deal with the consequences.  There are fewer rules: They must be enrolled in school or other curriculum, have a job or actively look for one, be on campus by curfew, no fighting and no drugs.  Seventeen year old Stephen showed some leadership qualities but unfortunately, he chose to lead in a negative way.  Stephen was using drugs and doing his best to lead others in the same direction.  We asked him to get treatment for the drug use or leave.  It was as simple as that.  Stephen chose to leave foster care and try to make it own his own.

After a few months, Stephen had discovered how hard life can be with no one to back you up when times are tough.  He called our director of residential services and asked to come back.  Life on his own with no support had proven to be a challenge he wasn’t prepared to meet.  Many facilities offering a similar program would never have let him return but we decided to give him another chance. The rules were clear, however — he had to sign a contract stating that he would enroll in drug treatment within his first week back and follow the treatment plan.  Stephen said he was willing to do anything and signed on the dotted line.  In less than a week he got an assessment and was in treatment.

Staff also met with him that first week to help him put a plan together that identified his goals and would help him to reach them.  Beyond staying off drugs, Stephen’ goals were to find a job and re-enroll in Austin Community College where he had dropped out before.  So staff helped him helped write a resume and look for a job.  They also took him to fill out applications and for interviews.  While he was looking for a job, he also enrolled at ACC where he is taking courses.

Today, Stephen is working, going to school and he’s using his leadership skills be a positive role model for other youth in his cottage.  He’s helping some of the young adults at the Shelter to stay with the program and stay off drugs by sharing his story and what’s it’s really like outside and on your own.

An excellent rebound, indeed.