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Transitional living program adjusts to Mary’s new needs

June 25, 2013
Mary juggles her time between her daughter and family, work, school and personal time. The TL program has helped her for more than two years.

Mary juggles her time between her daughter and family, work, school and personal time. The TL program has helped her for more than two years.

Mary entered the TL program with basic needs; two years later, how is the program helping her?

A lot has changed for Mary during the past few years – new baby, new school, new home and state. But she remains as determined as ever to achieve her goals.

Transitional Living
For more than a decade, Youth Villages has been working to help foster teens entering adulthood. Through a grant from The Day Foundation, Youth Villages began offering a voluntary transitional living program in 1999, specifically designed to help young people at their most statistically vulnerable point: beginning life as an independent adult after aging out of foster care or other children’s services. You can support young people aging out of foster care with a tax-deductible donation to Youth Villages. Please consider giving to support this worthwhile program.

Mary entered Youth Villages’ transitional living program in 2011, and the young mother learned simply how to get things done.

The first year in TL, Mary learned how to budget money and manage her time between college and her child. She learned how to step out and try things to improve her life. Her negative outlook on life was turning inside out. In her words, TL helped her “work to make my life the way I want it to be.

“I was struggling with my personal situation and I had negative influences holding me back. Getting in the TL program was a turning point in my life.”

But that was more than a year ago, and Mary has made quite a few changes since then. For one, she relocated to a new state and started a new life. She’s still in school and in good standing in the YV Scholars program, which helps her pay for school provided she meets and maintains academic and community service requirements. But as Mary has gained confidence and ability in navigating adulthood, those basic needs the TL program provides aren’t necessary.

How is TL helping now?

“It’s a little different with Mary,” said Takashi McCoy, TL specialist. “Since she’s already made significant steps in her independence, we work with more specific issues.”

The new focus is on things like staying on top of finances and state benefits. Mary explains the relationship as an evolution.

At first, her TL specialist assisted Mary in establishing a blueprint for her future and pushing her to get out and fight for what she wanted – first, to see a future, then to begin the process of making it happen.

“Now, Takashi’s more like a peer,” Mary said. “I discuss things with her and she advises me of my options.”

With a toddler at home and a job, Mary is focused on creating a stable home and getting through school. She meets weekly with Takashi and communicates more often when needed.

She sets small goals that get her closer to larger ones. She’s still set on a career in the veterinary field. The TL program helped her get through a difficult past, and continues to push her forward at 20 years old.

“Being in TL has shown me I can do things,” she said. “But more importantly, TL has my back. I’m not afraid to try new things and strive for something more because Youth Villages is there.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Janet Bohn permalink
    June 27, 2013 6:01 pm

    Great article. Love to see this time of intervention help our youth. Thank you Youth Villages.

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