Natalie’s mother struggles with addictions and as a result is not able to care for her daughter. At first, Natalie’s grandmother was able to provide care for Natalie and her three siblings (including one with special needs) but as she entered her teenage years providing for Natalie, the oldest granddaughter, became more difficult. Natalie started hanging out with the wrong crowd, a crowd that convinced her to take her grandmother’s car for a joy-ride one afternoon—even though she did not know how to drive. That is when her grandmother called Epworth for help.
At first, Natalie was resistant to living at Epworth. She portrayed a negative attitude and claimed to hate everything she encountered. She struggled at school and was often mean to other girls in her cottage. When staff or volunteers would offer to help, she would just stare back at them with empty eyes.
Then Natalie found out that Epworth had a basketball team and joined it. Being a part of the team brought her joy and she started to develop friendships. She attended tutoring sessions and her grades improved. After a few months, she and her grandmother started attending family therapy together at Epworth to mend their strained relationship.
Now, after almost two years in Epworth’s care, Natalie is thriving. She is consistently on the Honor Roll at school. Her behavior is much better and she is currently on the job search for her first part-time job. Her grandmother continues to be a part of her life but Natalie plans to stay at Epworth through college, where she hopes to study to be a lawyer.
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