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Amanda rises above hardship

April 21, 2011

Amanda is working hard to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse in the Navy.

At age 17, Amanda’s mother passed away, and Amanda moved from her home in Washington, D.C. to a foster home in North Carolina. She remained in foster care for a year before moving in with her uncle in High Point, N.C. Even though Amanda found stability with a family member, she still struggled with anger. She began to lash out physically and quickly found herself in trouble with the law.

Soon after her legal involvement, Amanda was referred to Youth Villages and introduced to the transitional living program. Because Amanda was not working or pursuing any education track, her transitional living specialist, Emily Lawing, quickly began planning a course of action.

“The first item we focused on was to continue Amanda’s education,” Emily said.

Their second goal was to find a job. Emily guided Amanda through application submission, job interviews and follow-ups. After tirelessly applying for jobs online, Amanda began working at Walmart.

“If I maintain a positive outlook on what I want to achieve, I know it can be done,” Amanda said. “It just takes time and patience.”

With school and a job under way, Emily and Amanda began developing anger management and coping skills. Amanda learned how to positively channel her anger, which persuaded the local district attorney to encourage her progress and dismiss all of her legal charges.

Amanda has not only been able to maintain her job at Walmart, but is also on track to earn her GED from Guilford Technical Community College this summer. She plans to re-enroll at GTCC this fall to complete her college education. After graduating, she hopes to earn a nursing degree and enlist in the Navy.

“Amanda has an exceptional and special spirit, and has clearly demonstrated a passion in reaching her goals,” Emily said. “Through hard work and resiliency, Amanda has grown to become a successful young adult.”

Amanda believes in the success of the transitional living program.

“It’s a good decision to be in TL because it helps you get where you want to be,” she said. “My future is bright and promising because of my involvement with Youth Villages.”

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