“M came to Sisu when she was sixteen. Her family life was unstable, and after her plan of living with a friend fell through, she decided to stay with us. In the beginning, everything was so hard. M had experiences that no teenager should have to face, and because of that she struggled with her mental health. M wanted to make progress, but as a minor she couldn’t access mental healthcare by herself. Being unable to get help she needed added so many more barriers to her success.
Our executive director helped find a doctor who offered to see M for free. She was nervous, but together we went to her appointment. Slowly her mental health improved. She worked so hard to overcome her circumstances. M got a job and was able to get back into high school. It took a lot of hunting down documents, but we were able to help her enroll in concurrent college classes as well. After a few months, M was accepted into a program that houses teens who want to finish their education but need a home to be able to stay in school. The day before she turned seventeen, we packed all her things and moved her into her new apartment.
I saw M a few weeks ago. She drove to Sisu in the car she bought by herself to invite the staff who helped her get through those difficult times to her graduation. She let us know she will start at a university in the spring. That day she called herself a ‘Sisu Success Story’, and told us she hopes someday to come back to Sisu, but not as a client. She hopes to come back and help the kids who need a safe place to stay each night, just like she did.”