Many people look back on their teen years as some of the best or worst times of their lives. Those years are filled with finding out who you are, what you love to do, finding and losing friends, growing and learning and changing. It can be a scary and challenging time for everyone. For a lot of the teens at Epworth, moving to a new place with new people and potentially a new school in the midst of these already hard years can be incredibly overwhelming.
Last year, a teen named Sara* came to live at Epworth. Sara was incredibly quiet, and kept to herself for the most part when she first arrived. However, Sara was also at the age where you begin to push the limits and boundaries. She had relationships and ties prior to coming to Epworth with people who did not want what was best for her. As a teen, it was hard for her to realize what was happening and she made some poor decisions under the influence of these relationships.
However, Sara loved living at Epworth. She liked her staff and her cottage mates, and she knew fairly quickly that they truly wanted what was best for her. Her staff saw her potential and encouraged it. They wanted her to succeed, and to be the very best version of herself. They wanted her to grow and thrive and do well in school and in life. Under the leadership and guidance of her cottage staff (and a little tough love), Sara made the difficult decision to cut off the toxic relationships she had been holding on to. It was hard, but it was worth it.
As she moved away from the negative relationships and invested more of herself into Epworth, Sara blossomed. She got a job working with youth over the summer, and she finished her senior year of high school and graduated as an honor roll student. She worked hard and found a new job at a fast food restaurant, where the management was so impressed by her character and work ethic, that they not only promised her job would be waiting on her when they re-opened after COVID-19, but they told her when she turned 18 they would like to promote her to a management position! Sara was moving towards the life she had always wanted for herself.
Sara is humble and sarcastic in the best way. She is a hard worker and once she puts her mind to something, there is no stopping her! She loves fitness and is always looking for the next adventure. She is headed to college in the fall and wants to be a nurse with a minor in Psychology. Her staff have no doubt that she will be phenomenal at whatever she sets her mind to. She is a saver more than a spender and is currently saving up to buy a car so that she can transport herself to work and college. Sara is a role model for the other girls in the cottage, with her even temperament and quick smile.
Thanks to staff that didn’t give up on her and a willingness to accept their love and guidance, Sara turned her life around. Thanks to your support, Epworth is able to help teens like Sara change the trajectory of their lives. Sara is going to make a difference in the world for good, and we can’t wait to see it!