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April, Student

I was in foster care for a total of 13 years and, like most of us who have lived through foster care, I experienced A LOT — moving from home to home, being placed on different behavioral medications, learning new rules and boundaries at every turn. Thirty two different foster homes and placements. As a teenager I experienced another failed adoption which led to a decline in my behavior and a run in with the DJJ system. It wasn’t until I came to E-Nini-Hassee, however, that my life began to turn around. When I first entered the program, I didn’t feel like I needed any help; I just thought if I kept my mouth closed I could go back home. That was not the case. I began to open up and feel wanted. I had moved so many times and had so many abandonment issues that I felt no one wanted me. But I felt wanted and needed at E-Nini-Hassee. I learned how to deal with many of the emotional issues that were leading to my outbursts of negative behavior – anger and abandonment. I also learned that I was a leader and that I can lead people in a negative way or a positive way. E-Nini-Hassee helped me to learn how to be positive and to teach others to do the same. The biggest thing that it gave me was a family. I never felt more love, care or support then I did in that program. When I turned 18, I had no one but E-Nini-Hassee was right there for me. They made my transition into adulthood the easiest thing for a youth with no parents. Life after E-Nini-Hassee has been great. I am working full time for a local nonprofit, and attend college full time in order to get a degree in social work.