KIM GOLDMAN | SANTA CLARTA VALLEY YOUTH PROJECT
How many of us showcase our compassion for a living? How many of us get to show up to work everyday, full of love and empathy; whose sole purpose is to effect a difference in another human’s life? I am so honored to say that we, The Youth Project, do just that.
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Since 2000, The Youth Project has worked with more than 30,000 teenagers struggling through pregnancy, depression, suicide, abuse/neglect, loss of loved ones, bullying, addiction, sexual assault, divorce and so many more life changing events. We’ve celebrated as they overcome each of those challenges and stayed the course, when they have fallen off track or needed the extra support. We worked together to empower kids with healthy coping, balance, better communication and a hopeful outlook for their futures.
A few stories stick out for me, but it usually only takes just one to serve as a reminder of how important the Youth Project is to so many young people and how fragile, vulnerable and resilient most of us can be.
I am reminded of the young woman who after weeks of meeting with our staff, finally admitted she was raped multiple times by her brother. She spoke of her pain and feelings of betrayal, and her struggle with wanting to protect her family but also her need to become whole again.
I am reminded of the young man who came into a session, and relived the physical and sexual abuse he endured by a babysitter.
I am reminded of the young woman who had thoughts of suicide (had a plan and a means) and didn’t trust herself to be alone.
I am reminded of the young man who struggled with his sexual identity, and when he finally found the courage to “come out,” he was rejected by his family.
I am reminded of the young woman who shared, “after meeting with you week after week, I finally get it. I finally wake up with happiness in my heart, for the first time in two years.”
I could go on and on–stories of heartbreak, tragedy and trauma mixed with hope and courage. It’s what keeps us motivated to do more than just our job. It is the willingness of these young human beings to be better, stronger and happier that makes the Youth Project such a needed and worthwhile organization. It is because they want to turn their suffering into hope for their future. It just doesn’t get any clearer, does it?
Our kids are phenomenal.
Our kids are inspirational.
Our kids deserve compassion, and I am so fortunate to be part of an organization whose mission it is, is to give it to them.
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Santa Clarita News