that for every dollar donated, 81 cents goes directly to help kids.
When you meet Hannah, you see a poised, attractive young woman brimming with confidence.
But behind those bright eyes is a young woman who has lived a life of turmoil and angst in an unsafe environment with little adult support. She spent her high school years struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts; concerned by her poor attendance and life circumstances, her high school counselor referred 17-year-old Hannah to the Transitional Living Program (TLP) at Boys & Girls Aid.
Hannah was unsure at first, but Troy Cressy, TLP counselor, convinced her to “give it a shot.” Hannah lived first with a host family and then with friends, but by age 18 she had her own apartment, a place to call home and a place where she feels safe. Troy helped Hannah learn about cooking, shopping, money management, relationships—the life lessons young people need. With Troy’s help, Hannah worked on her personal issues and explored post-high school education. Ask Hannah to identify the most important aspect of TLP and she’ll say, “Support and mutual respect.”
Remarkably, Hannah has never abused drugs or alcohol. Hannah believes, “You have to step back and say, ‘That is not the person I want to be.’ And you have to break the cycle.” Hannah is one of the first in her extended family to graduate from high school and stay clean. She plans to attend community college next fall and study social work – something she always wanted to pursue but seemed impossible before spending time in the Boys & Girls Aid Transitional Living Program. “I look at how much I’ve achieved in TLP and I think, ‘I’ve come so far, I can do what I’ve always wanted to do!’ ”
Hannah has reconnected with her mother, older sister and her family. “My nephews mean everything to me,” she says. “I want to be a positive influence in their lives.” Hannah’s mother is proud of what she has accomplished and continues to achieve. Most importantly, Hannah is proud of her own progress, her strength and independence.