CDS has many success stories to share. Here are a few with names and identifying details changed to protect our participants and their families.
Rachel was brought to Interface Youth Program for residential counseling services due to being in continuous conflict with her mother’s boyfriend. Rachel and her mother agreed that voluntary counseling services would potentially help decrease conflict within the family.
Rachel had been arrested earlier the previous year for attempted assault against her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. The charges were later dropped. Rachel was also diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder and was taking prescription medication. Rachel admitted to previously abusing marijuana and alcohol, but had been drug free for over a year when she entered Interface.
While staying at Interface, Rachel maintained a 3.0 grade point average, and she actively participated in the ROTC program at her school. Rachel set a goal to graduate from high school and enroll in the United States Army.
The CDS Residential Counselor helped Rachel and her family learn and practice skills to reduce conflict in the home. Upon discharge, Rachel had learned to better manage her behaviors and was able to successfully return home.
Later, Rachel’s younger brother entered Interface due to similar issues of conflict with the mother’s boyfriend. During his stay, Rachel attended family counseling sessions along with their mother and she gave her younger brother sound advice based on what she had learned and supported him during his stay. The family is now maintaining a positive relationship and Rachel continues to achieve the honor roll. Rachel continues to earn ranks in the ROTC program and is currently a Master Sergeant.
Cody was court ordered and admitted to Interface due to ungovernable behavior in the home, truancy issues, and illegal substance use. When Cody first arrived he expressed a willingness to successfully complete his placement at Interface. Cody was enrolled in the County’s Alternative School. He had a history of truancy in his home county and stated that he did not like attending school. He said that when he turned 16 years old, he planned to “drop out.” The Alternative School took an assertive approach with Cody developing an Individual Education Plan and working closely with him to implement this agreed upon plan.
Cody also began participating in weekly individual counseling and group activities facilitated by a CDS Residential Counselor. In these sessions Cody had the opportunity to address issues related to adolescent behaviors which involved substance abuse, peer pressure, lack of educational goals, and his need to respect adult authority.
Cody continued to cooperate in addressing issues identified on his Service Plan and his first 9 weeks report card included significant improvement in school attendance. His grades improved as well and included 2 B’s, 3 C’s and one D. These grades reflected a positive self-accomplishment for Cody and a drastic difference from his failing grades in the past. Cody stated that he no longer wanted to drop out of school and added that upon returning back home, he would attend school daily as expected. Cody also attained Interface’s highest participant status of “Achievement” during his stay at the shelter.
Sally was a victim of domestic violence and was placed in foster care at age 13. She had an extensive criminal record ranging from petty theft, aggravated battery, and substance abuse. She had spent time in DJJ detention centers in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Gainesville starting when she was 14 years old. She successfully completed a DJJ commitment program and was then placed in a group home where she attended the local high school and was an A/B student taking honors classes.
An employee at the high school took a special interest in Sally and encouraged her to apply to the Florida Youth Challenge Academy. The CDS Independent Living Counselor helped facilitate Sally’s acceptance and she attended last year, earning her GED and several college credits simultaneously. Sally was a model cadet and became one of the Academy’s ambassadors, traveling around the state giving talks to various organizations and school groups. She graduated last May as their salutatorian. Sally did not want to return to the group home, so the Independent Living Counselor assisted Sally by making arrangements for her to live independently. Sally just turned 18 and is now in her third semester of college majoring in psychology.
Jennifer was unable to cope with issues within her family especially her poor relationship with an abusive stepfather. Jennifer wanted to be independent, graduate from high school and be a responsible young adult, but she just was not making it at home. Her mom brought her to Interface.
Our Residential Counselor helped Jennifer and her family develop a plan and establish goals. As a result, Jennifer’s Counselor recommended Job Corps and subsequently helped Jennifer get admitted.
Jennifer has acquired the tools for success and credits Interface for providing her with residential services and the appropriate referral for her to become independent. When she completes the Job Corps program, she plans to enter Santa Fe College.
Camille entered the foster care system at age 10, leaving behind an erratic and abusive past. For more than two years while in care, she was a habitual runner unable to make positive connections in her life. She began working with her Independent Living Counselor when she was 17 and a bond was formed. The change in Camille was amazing. She received her GED and was class valedictorian! When she entered culinary school after her graduation, she was very optimistic about her future.