‘It’s Where You’re Headed’

For many young people, high school is a time for fun and of excitement for all the future holds. But for Yazmin, it was full of stress.

Yazmin didn’t have it easy. As a teenager, she lived at her brother’s house, but was kicked out when she was only 17. She then tried to live on her own. Despite working two jobs, she couldn’t make ends meet. She ended up in a shelter.

The pressures of working so much while also going to school weighed on her.

“The pressures of working so much while also going to school weighed on her.”

“I woke up really early in the morning, and I would get out of the house at 6 or 7 [a.m.] and come back at 10 or 11 [p.m.],” she remembers. “If I had homework, I would do it most of the time on the bus or before I would get to work.”

Yazmin began to feel like she was going to have to drop out of school. She was part of an internship program at the time, and through the program, she was connected with a school resource advisor. During one meeting, she told her advisor she was considering leaving school.

Her advisor had another idea: Mercy Home.

Yazmin liked the stability that Mercy Home could provide. She decided to move into our Girls Home.

At first, Yazmin was taken aback at the difference between our Home and the shelter where she’d been. “It was kind of a hard transition from a shelter [where] you see people coming and going 24/7 to here [where] it’s more stable,” she explains. “There are more staff to support everyone here.”

Yazmin quickly adjusted to the change and began to embrace all that Mercy Home had to offer her, like therapy.

“[Before Mercy Home], I never had a therapist meeting,” she says. “…Talking to a therapist that Mercy provides helped me [with] coping skills.”

Yazmin also started learning new skills at Mercy Home, like cooking and managing finances. She says that our coworkers encourage her and her peers to practice these life skills and are always there for extra support.

“They give us the feeling that we can do it–and if we can’t, they can help us,” she says. “They always find ways to help everyone, [and] they try to help me in different ways.”

“The best part?” she smiled. “Everything.”

One of those ways was helping Yazmin think about a future career. At Mercy Home, Yazmin finished high school and began to consider what was next. She says that before coming to Mercy Home, she didn’t think it would be possible for her to go to college. But since coming into our care, that all changed.

“We have school resources like the Learning Center,” she says. “I didn’t know a lot about college and I didn’t know if I was going to need a tutor or all those things, and they helped me with that.”

Today, Yazmin is studying phlebotomy in a two-year college program and hopes to use that experience to pursue a career in healthcare. Her goals for the future include getting her bachelor’s degree and her own apartment. And thanks to your incredible support, she is confident that she can do it.

The only thing she can’t do is choose a favorite part about being at Mercy Home.

“The best part?” she smiled. “Everything.”

Thank you for giving young people like Yazmin the confidence to know they can achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Knowing that they have friends like you supporting them reminds them they are capable of great things!

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