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.

  1. Ernest Mackey says:

    i want to say that as i read Asia’s story, i thought about my life growing up, and some of the things i went through. I was abuse as a child by my whole family, and i didn’t know where to turn, or who could help me, so i went the wrong path. But as i got older, i knew i had to make a change, and i ask God what do i need to do, and He told me i had to start with myself, not only by trusting Him, but believing in myself. As i read His Word, what stuck out to me the most was helping the children and widows, by whatever way i could. I want to say that I am so proud of all the children at Mercy Home, and to say never give up, and to Asia, I am proud of you, and i know that God will use you in great ways, to help those who need help.

    Reply
  2. James Clemons says:

    I’m so happy to be a part of helping any young child overcome abuse at home and be able to look forward to the next day for success, leaving behind the unwanted memories of yesterday.

    God bless Mercy Home for all their good work in helping those less fortunate!

    Reply
  3. Georgia Litzenberg, S.C. says:

    Thank you for sharing Asia’s story. GOD BLESS HER!
    I was grateful to read the story, and be informed about dear Asia.
    Thanks again.
    Georgia Litzenberg, S.C.

    Reply
  4. Jeanette Haug says:

    The story of Asia is very inspiring. If I lived in Chicago, I think that I would like to help at Mercy Home. I enjoy working with children and young adults. That is one of the reasons I have become one of Mercy’s Guardian Angels. God bless all your children and God bless all those who have an impact on their lives.

    Reply
  5. Sue Dondelewski says:

    Thank God Asia had Mercy Home to help her! Your home and the wonderful, caring people there are a blessing to so many and I know you have turned many lives around. Again thank you!

    Reply

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