Inspirational Stories of Youth

One challenge of being Hillsides CEO is setting time aside for direct interaction with those we serve in spite of numerous commitments. The other day I had the opportunity to visit Youth Moving On (YMO) and met with a handful of residents. I was inspired by their efforts to move beyond the challenges they face to a path that leads them to success.

A young woman, who has been at YMO only a few months, talked about how YMO is the next step for her on a journey away from gang involvement to pursue education, employment, and permanent housing. Articulate, self-aware, and resolute, she inspired me not just by her accomplishments, but especially her dream to develop a way to protect children from sex trafficking.
As I sat there visiting, a young man, a long-time resident of YMO, came in excited about having successfully passed his EMT exam. This allows him to realize a long-held dream of entering the medical field. No one would have thought that possible just a few years ago, when he was released from the juvenile detention system and sought out the services offered at YMO. But his hard work and conviction has served him well and today he is on his way.
And finally, there was another young man who had just returned from purchasing his first suit to wear to our annual donor appreciation gathering this Thursday. There he will share his story of how hard work and sacrifice has helped him begin to build the financial foundation for his independence.
Each one of them is inspirational more so because the obstacles are so great in such a challenging economic environment. Their stories prove dreams, matched with hard work and supported by a dedicated community, can make what some would consider impossible achievable.
How appropriate that their success will be shared with our donor community. Were it not for the extraordinary generosity of our donors, little of what we accomplish would be possible.

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