There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.
#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.
Asia felt like she was in a black hole, unable to escape. that’s how she remembers describing herself in her journal.
For Asia, academics were never the issue. She was a decent student and got along with her teachers. It was her home life that felt like a dark void.
Asia suffered abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. So she moved in with her grandmother, but the two often found themselves at odds.
“It was overwhelming,” Asia says. “I felt like I was too young to have this all happen to me. Too young to learn all this stuff about life. I was just 11 years old.”
The friction at home started to affect Asia at school. “I started getting in trouble,” she remembers. “I talked back and was disrespectful. I also got bullied a lot, and my grades started slipping.”
“It was overwhelming,” Asia says. “I felt like I was too young to have this all happen to me…”
Asia’s grandmother searched for options for Asia, but couldn’t find the right fit. Then, she discovered Mercy Home.
When Asia first came into our care, she had a hard time adjusting to the structure. There were new rules and a schedule to follow. Asia wasn’t used to asking for permission. And she fought against it. She would yell and slam doors. She was angry.
But as Asia experienced the network of care and support that Mercy Home had to offer, her outlook started to change. She could feel herself starting to grow.
To Asia, the thing that helped the most was talking with her therapist. “She helped me through my problems,” Asia says. “She didn’t sugarcoat anything. She encouraged me to talk to people and find a way to make things better.”
And as Asia worked to heal, one of our older girls served as a mentor. “She’d say things like, ‘I know you’re going through some hard stuff. I know you miss your family, but it’s going to be okay. We can work through this,’” Asia remembers. “That meant a lot of me.”
After two years of healing at Mercy Home, Asia moved back in with her grandmother. Unfortunately, things deteriorated quickly. Asia started getting in trouble. Her grandmother talked about sending her to foster care. But Asia proposed another option.
“I knew I needed to go back to Mercy Home,” Asia says. “I knew they would take good care of me.”
After she returned, Asia was ready to change her life for the better–for good. “I just clicked and got with the program. I talked with the staff and developed a plan,” she says. “Now I feel more in control. I think before I act.”
Academic accomplishments soon followed. “I’m doing much better in school,” Asia says. “I don’t talk back anymore. I’m actually very quiet and focused on my work. Instead of C’s and D’s, now I have A’s and B’s.”
“Mercy Home is here for a reason, and that reason is to make a difference. They’ve made a tremendous impact on my life.”
Asia’s teachers and school administrators have been thrilled with her progress. “My assistant principal actually called me into the office and said, ‘Asia, you’ve been doing very well. You haven’t been disrespectful and your grades are up. I like what I see! You’re going places.’”
Nikki Coffey, Asia’s youth care supervisor at Mercy Home, agrees. “Asia has grown in her ability to reflect on her challenges and developed techniques to manage them,” Nikki says. “Asia is on her way to becoming the person she has always wanted to be, and it is a privilege to walk with her during this journey.”
Linda Hendrickson, Asia’s program manager, has been impressed as well–not only by Asia’s positive spirit but by her dedication. “Asia is very determined to meet goals she sets for herself, whether it’s been … gaining on-campus employment or achieving higher grades,” Linda says.
Today, Asia uses her positive energy and outgoing personality to help mentor others, just like the young woman who mentored her. “Now I’m a role model,” Asia says.
She knows just how much her life has changed since coming into our care and is grateful for the transformation that friends like you have made possible.
“Where I was before and where I am now are two completely different universes,” she says. “Mercy Home is here for a reason, and that reason is to make a difference. They’ve made a tremendous impact on my life.”
Thank you for supporting young people like Asia. Your generosity has empowered her not only to change her life for the better, but to inspire others.