Congratulations to Diedra J. on her recent accomplishment of receiving her General Educational Development (GED) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate. In addition, Deidra is a licensed Cosmetologist. Recently hired as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a local Nursing Home she is excited about the opportunity to provide quality care to the residents of the facility.
Deidra has been a resident of the Children's Home Supervised Independent Living Program (SILP) since July of 2009. Since her admission she has proven herself to be a hard working and highly motivated young woman. While attending classes to receive her Cosmetology license, GED, and CNA certificate, Deidra maintained community employment. Even more impressive while achieving her accomplishments and managing a hectic daily schedule, has been Deidra's ability to raise her fifteen-month old daughter as a single mother. Deidra is a loving and caring parent to her daughter and is focused on providing her with a high quality of life.
When Deidra and her daughter leave the SILP, she plans to live, work and provide for her daughter in the Broome County area. Deidra would like to attend college and one day own her own hair salon. With all of Deidra's hard work to achieve her goals and all that she has already accomplished, anything is possible. Congratulations Deidra, we are all very proud of you.
A young girl in the Day Treatment program recently said something very inspiring as a result of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)(a therapy introduced a few years ago across all our programs). She was asked her if it would be all right to quote her.
This is what she said after having a bad week - a week of aggression. While talking to her Social Worker to see if she could explain what she was going through, she thought for a moment, then said "Sometimes I just can't handle my manners, because it's like a battle of wind that you can't stop."
Previous to DBT, according to the Social Worker, this child would not have been able to verbalize what she was feeling. Our children have become more aware of their emotions and they are able to verbalize them in their own way. As a result of this statement our doctor was able to help her more effectively. This young girl is actually proud of herself for being able to verbalize her feelings this way.
Therapeutic After School Program (TASP)
Brianne "Bri" is achieving 80's and 90's in BOCES high school and plans to get a certificate in Cosmetology upon graduation. But her real dream is to use cosmetology to help her earn money to get a degree in Genetic Sciences. "I think it is so cool to know how we get the color of our eyes and hair and understand how we are put together."
Brianne frankly states that she was having lots of problems when she was referred to TASP at the age of 14. Counseling through several local agencies was not solving her need to relate with her peers through drugs, risky behavior and failing grades. "I hated it at first. It felt like a waste of time. I was older than the other kids." In the summer, TASP spends a lot of time in Chenango Valley State Park with guided sports, incentive programs, and time with staff. That's where Bri made a connection that turned her around. Kim, the director and Samantha, her social worker, guided and encouraged Bri through rough times. She began to excel.
During the school year the after school schedule was a challenge, getting her home around 7:00 p.m. But homework was accomplished, failing grades became high grades, she no longer needed outside counseling. Through the TASP work program she got experience at Binghamton Mets Stadium, the Humane Society, and a hair salon, Tina's Tangles, that led her to set her sights on cosmetology.
Bri's mom, Viki, highly recommends this program. They both feel that they are on track for a better life.
Family Support Program (FSP)
Samantha started in the Family Support Program (FSP) at the age of eight. In her words:
"I hated it. I was confused as to why I had to go and spend my hours after school with such 'strange' people - strange only because I did not know them. Once I became familiar with the staff and my peers, though, I could not wait to get out of school and go to the program.
We used a point system at FSP and goals to work on every week. My goals were usually to stop bragging, to dress appropriately, and to be respectful. Among other things, I learned how to eat properly with utensils (I had previously used the "shovel method") and they taught me how to mature and be a young lady. My peers in the program were always changing, but the staff there became my family. I remember during a share group that I mentioned not having or really knowing my real father, but Terry Potter and Bill Trass (FSP Staff) were, in a sense, my fathers. They taught me so many life lessons. To this day, both of them mean the world to me.
I currently go to school at SUNY Oneonta, but there are times when I visit my hometown and the first thing I think of is to go and visit them.
I did not have the best childhood. I did not have the greatest mother or family or friends. The thing is, though, everything - everything - that has ever happened in my life has brought me to where I am and who I am today, and so I have to be grateful for my past. I want so badly for other children and other families to know and believe that.
That is my strongest motive behind wanting to be a child and family therapist. Sometimes, all children need in a world full of chaos is one - just one - stable environment in which they can learn and grow. For me, it was the Family Support Program.
My life would not be the same amazing and successful life without them.