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Sarah’s Story: Achieving Independence, With Help from SOS BC
The youth workers at the SOS Children’s Village Transition to Adulthood program first met Sarah in November 2012. They knew right away that with their support and assistance, Sarah could build a successful, independent adult life for herself.
As a child, Sarah lived with her drug-addicted mother. She remembers coming home from school every day to find her mother passed out on the couch. Until one day when her mom just wasn’t there. Sarah, just eight years old at the time, never saw her mother again.
For the next four years Sarah lived with her grandmother. When her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and died in only three weeks, Sarah was devastated. Her grandmother had been her strongest caregiver and supporter.
Following a brief stint living with an uncle, Sarah became a ward of the court and was taken into the care of the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD). Ever since, Sarah has lived in foster homes. She’s never really had a loving parent, except for those few years with her grandmother, and she’s never had the kind of support most young people in BC take for granted.
But Sarah is a determined young person, and with the help of SOS Children’s Village BC, she has made great strides. She has been supported by an SOS Transition to Adulthood worker since November 2012, and together they have worked on building her life skills, bringing her closer to independence. Her transition worker helped Sarah to find a job, and she’s been working and going to school for more than 6 months. Soon she’ll be getting her first promotion!
When Sarah needed dental work, the SOS Transition to Adulthood workers went to bat for Sarah, helping to find a dentist who agreed to donate thousands of dollars worth of services. That dentist was so impressed by Sarah’s resilience in the face of the many challenges in her life, he pledged $500 towards her education.
Sarah has also been receiving therapy through SOS and meets regularly with an SOS therapist for talk therapy and neurofeedback training. This has helped Sarah to work through many of the traumatic childhood issues that were preventing her from moving forward in her life.
Sarah is on track to graduate from Grade 12 this year with high marks — one of the few foster kids who accomplish this milestone. In BC, only 21% of kids in the care of MCFD graduate from high school on time. Sarah’s success is thanks in part to the tutoring and support from SOS Children’s Village’s Learning Coordinator. With the support of SOS workers, Sarah has applied to several universities and she’s looking forward to starting her studies in September.
Today, Sarah is a success story, thanks to the wraparound services of SOS Children’s Village BC: the Transition to Adulthood program, the Therapy program, and the SOS Learning Club program that have helped her to thrive and reach her potential.
*Sarah represents several youth in care and their stories have been merged to protect their confidentiality while letting you understand their story and challenges
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”