Katie’s childhood brings back distressing memories of a mother-daughter relationship that slide steadily into a sad, destructive cycle of anger, frustration and blaming. At just 12 years of age, Katie was so desperate to get away from home that she pleaded to be placed in foster care.
Hope turned to disillusionment as Katie moved in and out of a succession of foster homes and detention centres. At 16, she abandoned school, was living on the streets and had turned to drugs. Scared, cold and often hungry, she didn’t know where to turn for help.
The turning point for Katie came when she got involved with Choices for Youth, a community-based agency in St. John’s (NL). Choices provides young people with stable support systems during difficult periods in their lives. Katie signed up for a basic math and literacy skills program administered by Choices and run by the Community Youth Network.
Katie hadn’t been in school for longer than a few months at a time since she was 12. It took a couple of attempts and a whole year before she was ready to commit to the program, but eventually she decided to get on with making some changes in her life.
Today, Katie is a confident, well-spoken young woman. She works at a local community centre and is preparing to take a high school equivalency program before pursuing a college diploma in Community Recreation and Leadership.
*not her real name