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Transitional Living program helps and supports Amanda in her efforts to achieve personal and professional goals

June 17, 2010

Amanda generally accomplishes what she sets her mind to do. She didn’t have a stable living situation. Her grades in high school were suffering. She needed backup.

Normally independent and strong-willed, a concerned school administrator contacted Youth Villages.

Amanda wanted a high school diploma and attend college. She would like to be a teacher.


But to reach such goals as these, she needed a guide. Amanda began to participate in Youth Villages’ Transitional Living program. Amber Blakley, TL specialist, was one of Amanda’s counselors.

“We first worked on finding a stable and positive place for her to live,” Blakley said. “Then we worked on improving her job skills.”

Transitional Living counselors help young people learn to deal with the minor and major problems that come with adulthood. They help participants find housing and health services, learn how to access transportation and meet their basic needs. Counselors teach life skills like budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping.

Young people in the Transitional Living program set education and career goals. For some, this means obtaining a GED or high school diploma. For others, it means applying for college scholarships or attending vocational training. Staff provides assistance with selecting a career, developing a resume, applying for jobs and preparing for job interviews. A Transitional Living Specialist may also help a young person learn to get along with co-workers and supervisors in the workplace.

Amanda wants to be a teacher.

“Amber was great support for me,” Amanda said. “We had disagreements, but I realize now that she was looking out for me and she did love and care for me. I kind of miss it.”

Amanda was able to get a car and will soon sign the lease for an apartment.

“No matter what people have told her, she’s been able to set goals and reach them,” Blakley said. “She’s come back from a lot and is moving forward toward what will be a great future.”

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