“Bryan”, 17 years old

Bryan was referred to youthSpark in March 2018, because he wasn't reaching is full potential in school and had trouble connecting with the community services offered to him. At the time of the referral, Bryan was placed with his grandparents but struggled to achieve success in the traditional school setting.

After a disruption at school, Bryan was expelled and forced to attend Alternative School. During this time, there continued to be conflicts within the home and he was subsequently placed in state custody. This was the beginning of multiple out-of-home placements and Bryan just couldn't seem to catch a break. youthSpark worked collaboratively with the Juvenile Court and DFCS to ensure Bryan received what he needed. It took not one, not two, but at least five service partners working together relentlessly to help put him on the right track and keep him from looking to the streets for support. Bryan attended Connections group sessions weekly and would drop by the Youth Services Center regularly.

During Bryan’s time with youthSpark, he suffered a significant loss of his grandparent which greatly diminished the likelihood that he would be able to return to his “traditional” family setting. We realized that to help him deal with this loss, we needed to ramp things up more than ever before. youthSpark helped him get a job and purchased his first pair or work shoes.

Today, Bryan tells us that we were able to give him what he didn't even know he needed at the time.

Though it was challenging at times, the continuum of unwavering support never ceased, and today Bryan tells us that we were able to give him what he didn't even know he needed at the time.

Because the collaborations were frequent between youthSpark and our partners, every adult involved with Bryan was able to articulate his areas of concern and address this in a meaningful and relevant manner. In other words, we HEARD Bryan.

Bryan eventually earned his GED, was able to get a better job, and is currently on track to learn skills to allow him to live independently. He pledged to work with more boys in the Connections program because he wants them to know that you can make it with the right people in your corner.

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