success stories

SUCCESS ISN’T A DESTINATION

It’s a direction. Every story of every youth at Villa of Hope is unique. They come with different circumstances and arrive by different paths.

And yet they share much in common. The potential that is innate in every youth. The need for guidance to tap into that potential. And the forward momentum that spells success. Kids who are back in school, off the streets, away from drugs, away from harm, reunited with their families, making responsible choices, and planning for independence, are looking forward to their futures and giving back to our community.

In these stories, while there are happy endings, there isn’t a point where we close the book. Success is an ongoing struggle.

But rest assured, we’ll always be here.

Providing a wide range of services to youth and their families.

At Villa of Hope, our programs are as diverse as the youth and families we serve—from programs for youth involved in the court system and those coping with mental health issues to issues of foster care, life-skills development, work training, mentoring and general counseling.
Alley had a rough start in life—she was born two months premature, had significant health issues and experienced severe developmental delays as a result.

She struggled academically and resisted going to school. By the end of her 4th-grade year, she had missed 62 days of school and was tardy 94 times. Every morning was a battle between Alley and her mother, and as these battles escalated, Alley’s mother often gave in and let her stay home.

Alley was ultimately diagnosed with ADHD and was put on medication to control the symptoms. This was a start, but Alley’s mom needed help working through the diagnosis.

Alley’s pediatrician referred the family to Villa of Hope’s ICM Care Coordinator program—one of more than a dozen programs the Villa operates in the community to support youth and families struggling with mental health disorders, developmental delays and behavioral issues. A Villa of Hope case manager was assigned to the family and worked intensively with Alley’s mom to help her understand her needs and develop plans to support her success at home and in school.

The case manager worked closely with Alley’s teachers and the principal at her school to ensure consistency between work and home, and with her pediatric psychiatrist to monitor her progress. She visited Alley and her mom weekly, and talked with them regularly to troubleshoot any issues.

As Alley made progress, her mom became more confident in her ability to manage the ADHD. By the end of her 5th-grade year, Alley was not only attending school regularly, she was winning awards for good classroom behavior.

Helping youth stay clean, clear and sober.

We offer prevention for school-age youth, outpatient treatment for adolescents and a residential program for teen boys. During and after treatment, we see improvement in social competencies, empowerment and a commitment to learning—all of which reduce criminal activity, school dropout and chemical dependency risks, and enable young people to develop into successful, contributing adults.

After his parents divorced when he was two, Kyle bounced between both homes for most of his childhood—with little supervision from either parent. When he was 12, Kyle found his father’s pain medication. By the time he was 14 and living with his father full-time, Kyle was drinking and smoking pot regularly, and rarely going to school. When he did attend, he was disruptive, got in fights, got in trouble. Kyle’s father—unable to control his own addictions to alcohol and pain medication—tried to send him to live with his mother. She refused.

Kyle’s father brought him to Villa of Hope’s LIFE House, a residential treatment program for young males ages 13 to 19 who are recovering from alcohol or drug dependency. LIFE—Live In Freedom Early—combines counseling, education, recreation and community involvement, and utilizes the evidence-based Seven Challenges Program to help youth maintain a life free from chemical dependence.

At first, Kyle didn’t want to be there, and he didn’t want help. But as he progressed through the program, he began to see that the road he had been on was going nowhere good. He realized that he didn’t want to live like his father, who didn’t work, couldn’t care for himself or others, and didn’t enjoy life.

Kyle dedicated himself to the program. When he left, he moved in with his grandmother so he could avoid the negative influences of his father and his friends. He was determined to make a better life for himself.

Now 12 years clean, Kyle has a full-time job and plans to buy his first house. He says he will never be recovered—he will always be recovering. But he has hope that he will succeed.

A safe and caring place to rebuild, recover and renew.

Some of the challenges our youth face are so overwhelming that they need the chance to step away from their current living situation in order to regroup and step forward. Each of our residential programs was created to provide youth with those appropriate settings.
Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, our residential programs serve youth with complex emotional, behavioral and education needs.

Our evidenced-based model incorporates clinical treatment, medical care and family-driven partnerships to help our youth be better prepared for life and less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors.

Jordan’s childhood was not a happy one. Severely abused in his home for years, Jordan harbored a deep and unrelenting anger toward his mother for not intervening. As he got older, he lashed out with violence, destroying property in his home, at school and in the community - and sometimes hurting himself. It was clear that Jordan and his mother needed help.

Jordan was placed in Villa of Hope’s Residential Treatment Facility, a home for boys with mental health disorders and histories of physical, mental and emotional trauma. Using Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, our staff worked with Jordan to teach him how to regulate his anger and express it in constructive ways. He also received therapy to help him process the trauma and abuse he’d suffered. At the same time, his mother received therapy.

Eventually, Jordan was able to safely return home. With continued family counseling, parenting support and youth advocacy through Villa of Hope’s Aftercare program, he and his mother are rebuilding their relationship and recovering hope for the future.

Setting the foundation for future success.

Villa of Hope offers fully accredited and state-licensed special education programs that focus on preparing students to return to community schools or vocational programs through the Campus School and Avalon School.

April was a happy and healthy 7th-grader—a good student, active in sports and extracurricular activities at her school. But at the start of her 8th-grade year, April’s parents were shocked to learn that April had been cutting herself and contemplating suicide.

Initially diagnosed with depression, April underwent a series of unsuccessful treatments and was hospitalized for several weeks when her condition became so severe that she was posing a threat to herself. This went on for two years, and while April was able to keep up academically, she suffered such severe social anxiety at school that she rarely went.

At the start of her junior year, April was referred to Avalon School. At Avalon, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists work alongside teachers and administrators, and are on site and available during the school day. These additional supports made all the difference for April. Avalon’s pediatric psychiatrist suggested a radical change in medication and April finally started to improve.

April was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a serious mental health condition characterized by hallucinations, delusions and significant disturbances of mood. With a proper diagnosis and effective medication, April and her treatment team were able to navigate a path to success. After two years at Avalon, April graduated with renewed hope for her future.