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YVLifeSet program helps Coty manage transition to adult life while caring for his mom

August 3, 2015
Coty's learned to be more proactive in maintaining his responsibilities. His plan is to earn an associate’s degree and then make a decision to further his education or begin a career.

Coty has learned to be more proactive in maintaining his responsibilities. His plan is to earn an associate’s degree and then make a decision to further his education or begin a career.

Coty was finishing his senior year of high school when his mother fell gravely ill. Two years before, his mother suffered a stroke, and he had to get by on his own before being placed in state custody.

At 18, Coty was back on his own, getting by with a part-time job, making good grades and nearing graduation when he was forced to deal with serious issues and questions regarding his mother.

“I guess I didn’t have time to process it because I was so busy,” Coty said. “There was a lot going on.”

Coty was referred to YVLifeSet through his Tennessee Department of Children’s Services case worker. Chris Scarbrough-Key is his YVLifeSet Specialist.

“Coty can get overwhelmed at times,” Chris said. “He had some big decisions to make with his mother in addition to maintaining his school and work life.”

Chris helped Coty understand how to speak with the doctors to get good information. She also followed through with insurance forms to help ensure Coty was protected from any of his mother’s health care costs. She pitched in with other Youth Villages staff and youth services staff to make sure Coty had a proper suit and could attend his high school prom. Teachers at his school supported him and kept him on track. When his air conditioning broke at his home, Chris worked with him to make sure the landlord got it fixed.

“He never missed a session with me,” Chris said. “Despite everything that was going on, he did very well.”

His car will soon be paid in full. Chris still helps Coty with time management as he prepares to enter community college this fall. Coty’s learned how to shop for groceries and use simple recipes to cook his own food. He is a supervisor at a local restaurant.

“He still has quite a bit to take care of for an 18-year-old,” Chris said.

Coty uses coping skills to control his anger, which stems from having so many big changes thrown at him at once. His older sister is also a big support for him. He’s learned to be more proactive in maintaining his responsibilities. His plan is to earn an associate’s degree and then make a decision to further his education or begin a career.

“I’m a tired kid most of the time,” Coty said. “Chris is certainly extra help for me and kind of like a mother figure. She gives me another somebody to go to. She fills in the gaps.”

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