Beyond The Surface.
The Real Life Stories of the Youth Project
The Youth Project is honored to work with so many brave teenagers, willing to share their lives with us. Each month, we’ll bring you firsthand accounts of pain, trauma and hope — from the teens themselves.
Here are a few of their stories.
12 y/o, female – lost contact with her father due to a domestic violence issue and her step-father was recently put in jail. She is struggling with the confusion of not understanding why her step-father is in jail and the feelings of abandonment from her father who has not even tried to contact her. Her family is struggling financially (being supported solely by her mother) and this puts pressure on everyone. She mentioned that the Youth Project has inspired her to help people when she grows up.
15 y/o, female – struggles with relationships. Her mother and father are in an open marriage and she has difficulty understanding the different dynamic of her family compared to other families. As a result, she is engaging in unhealthy relationships and has a hard time maintaining healthy boundaries.
16 y/o, male – struggling to manage school while taking care of an older brother with down syndrome. He is not only faced with the responsibilities of being a teen and assisting his brother but he carries many additional responsibilities at home, with his mother who is battling cancer.
16 y/o, female – facing the impending death of her aunt, she is expressing feelings of anxiety and deep sadness. She feels lost and detached from her parents, who struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism. Having had a previous suicide attempt, she is very aware of her ability to “shut off” and isolate and is eager to learn and maintain healthy coping skills.
16 y/o, female – student was recently raped by her boyfriend and was told that the charges were being dropped due to lack of evidence. She struggles not only with the after-math of the rape, but also feeling as though no one believes her because of her troubled past (she has battled substance abuse and trouble at school). She is relieved to be a part of the Youth Project program, where she is validated and not judged for her behaviors and experiences.
17 y/0, male – participant in the Male Issues group, discussed last week how grateful he is for the Youth Project, expressing he has not been able to trust anyone in school before. He struggled with drugs and has been sober for a year and a half now. He shared that being in a weekly group and building relationships he can rely on, has allowed him to maintain his sobriety. Other boys in the group chimed in, that they too feel as though group is the only place they can fully open up and be themselves without judgement.
The Youth Project is celebrating 13 years of successfully providing free services to teens in the Santa Clarita Valley. Since their doors opened in 2000, the Youth Project has assisted more than 33,000 local families, including 28,000 youth and 6,000 adults.
To learn more about us and how you can help visit www.HelpNotHassle.org