(*Names have been changed to honor the confidentiality of youth.)
This year I plan to change my lifestyle,
because the past is the past and now I’m looking forward to my
future. I plan to get my education and renew my mind, knowing that drugs
and violence are not the only things in life to experience.
So I am going to start from scratch and use my intelligence, try
to stay away from negativity, because when ever somebody like me wants
to do right, it seems there is always someone trying to bring you
down. But I’m strong now. I already know what will happen to
me if I let anyone bring me down because when I was in Youth Guidance
Center I had a wake up call and found out it isn’t worth going
to jail for smoking weed or drinking alcohol.
I’m going to take one step at a time because most of the time
when you rush your goals you get frustrated and give up. That’s
why you need to take it slow and be patient.
This is the dawn of my new life, and I am ready to change so I can
let people know that you can always change yourself and your ways,
if you push yourself to do what you really want to do. - Bruce
I, Melinda, have been in YTEC for a year now and I came to
YTEC for a violation of probation and a dirty U.A. I was violating
probation by using marijuana, violating my curfew and not following
my mother’s house rules. I was on a road to destruction. I was
hanging out with the wrong group of friends, cutting school and staying
out late at night. I was going through mental and emotional problems;
rebelling was my only cry for help. Substance use was my way to escape
from all the problems. The last time I smoked marijuana I was violated
and sent to YTEC.
This program has been one of the most amazing things
that has happened to me. I now have been clean for one year and one
month. I have graduated from high school and I have learned things about
myself that I always didn’t believe about myself.
I am now learning how to heal the pain within and positive ways to deal
with my problems and how to let go of the past and move forward though
life clean and sober, having fun and being a teenager again.
I am looking
forward to college and I am now working in the Leadership Program at
YTEC, with a bright future ahead of me. I believe that a leader is
someone who was once in need and gives back to those who are now in
the situation that they were once in, by using the things they have
learned and that helped them. Being a leader helps me to stay focused
and motivates me to continue to do the right thing as I move though
life. I am looking forward to strengthening my leadership skills because
of the feeling that it gives me; the feeling of being a leader is a
strong and proud feeling to have. It gives me satisfaction within myself
and nothing is a better feeling. Being a leader comes from within and
showing others how to find the leader within themselves and helps them
to do the right thing and that is what motivates you and helps you to
continue to be a leader.
My name is Jessica and I am 18 years old. I had a rough childhood.
There were a lot of issues in my life such as sexual abuse, adoption,
and death. I found an escape by using marijuana. Soon marijuana wasn’t
good enough, so I turned to harder drugs. During my addiction
I faced many more traumatic experiences and gave up hope for my future.
The only goal I had was to get more drugs and I went to great lengths
to get it.
After many years of my life revolving around drugs and
many failed attempts at recovery, I was placed in a long-term residential
treatment facility called Walden House. I was there for 17 months.
The first 3 months I struggled to see that I was an addict and that
I needed help. I soon realized that I was sick and tired of being
tired. I worked through my issues and went to therapy on a regular
basis. I developed a sense of who I am, and I realized my potential.
They taught me the skills I need to stay on the road to recovery.
After completing the program, I went to work with the YTEC Leadership
program. There I was given the opportunity to put to use the potential
I realized I had. As I said before, I had given up on my future and
my dreams. I never thought I would make it to college. Through Leadership,
I am currently attending City College, maintaining two and a half
years of sobriety and I have accumulated work experience and job skills
that I will need for the future. My goal is to become a counselor
and give back what was given to me.