For no other reason than to protect her story and her family's anonymity, I'll leave their names out. Their names are important, but it might be more important that what happened here for them could happen to someone else. Maybe change another family's direction and bring them to our program.
A few years back both she and her husband were doing their share of drugs and living the life that goes with it. It wasn't a lack of talent that lost everything for them because they're both bright and presentable people.
It's just the same things that we all did to ruin our lives and get to places like this. It got bad enough that a relative took their child for a while.
Who knows? That might have woke them up. Before long they found themselves on a bus headed from the Midwest. They weren't sure this was the place for them, but they stuck it out.
And last year this same mother pulled me aside for another conversation. That time it was to share her excitement about her daughter coming to spend a summer with the family. She came. She found a part-time job. And liked it so much she wanted to come the following year - and she did.
And what did the mother want to share this time? Well, now the daughter has a driver's license, a car, and a job just a mile from their apartment.
More than anything else this is why I do this job. For me, this family's success makes it all worthwhile.