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Success Stories from Youth Treatment and Education Center

“Since I’ve graduated from YTEC I’ve proven to the community that
I am a changed man. I‘ve stopped smoking, drinking, and stopped
being a criminal.”
  YTEC Participant

“YTEC is about finding a new path, if we can learn how to succeed
in school we can get involved in more positive things than
using drugs.”
  YTEC participant

“I am now out of the system, and my only problem is deciding which
college to go to.”
  YTEC Participant

Dominique Dorham, graduate of YTEC Leadership Youth and Bridge intern, is profiled in the Fall 2009 issue of San Francisco Attorney, an official publication of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Dominique graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in June 2011, the first member of her family to graduate college. She received scholarships from YTEC with support from the College Access Scholarship Program of San Francisco.

At age 16, Marta had already missed more than 200 days of school over the previous two years. She had repeatedly been arrested for shoplifting and breaking into a neighbor's house. She was also stealing hard liquor to support a drinking habit that had started when she was 13. Her uncle had abused her but Marta says that her mother wouldn't believe her when she told her mother what had happened.

When Marta wound up in the juvenile justice system, the judge sent her to YTEC. After starting the program, Marta has caught up with her age group in school, is completely alcohol-free, and plans to attend college to become a counselor. She wants to help other girls who are as lost and confused as she was.

I began with Youth Treatment and Education Center (YTEC) after completing 18 months at Walden House, a residential drug treatment program. I started in the YTEC Leadership Program when I was eighteen, as a Leadership Fellow.

I believe this was an important opportunity in taking me to the point of where I am now. I was having a difficult time figuring out what to do next. I had spent eighteen months in a community that was safe and I began to get comfortable. After graduation, I realized that I was no longer the big fish in a small pond. I found myself in the real world, with only tools and knowledge I had learned in Walden House. 

Youth Treatment and Education Center served as both an aftercare program, as well as a place where I could participate in making my community better. Along with other Leadership Fellows, I participated in developing and presenting workshops on issues that we found to be important and that affect youth, such as drug and alcohol abuse, money management, creative expression as an alternative, etc. I learned valuable skills such as community outreach and networking with other programs. I also had the opportunity to co-facilitate support groups for girls in juvenile hall as well as youth who were in a six-week drug diversion program. I am currently studying to become a social worker. These YTEC experiences have been very relevant to my studies.

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