The Young Adults


“Since the age of 15, I have been on my own attempting to raise myself and I’ve gotten pretty far. Sometimes I feel like I’m not the woman my mom created. I feel like I’m the woman that I created and that makes me proud. I raised my self to become someone hardworking and determined in all aspects of life. I feel like my life has changed who I am and made me afraid of who could possibly hurt me and damage me more than I already am. But I was once told just because a can is damaged doesn’t mean it’s no longer good. I have faith that I will be something and someone great, I want to prove everyone wrong who counted me out. First person is my mother.”


“My purpose in life is to succeed in whatever I do. Based off my life experience, I have learned that it is not about where you come from, it’s about where you end up in life. After overcoming the hardship and obstacles of not being with my family for half of my life, being separated from them not having a stable home environment, I still managed to be a strong, smart, self-confident young man. I am a positive individual with a healthy, optimistic outlook on life. My goal is to be successful. When people hear my life story they sometimes ask me what made me not give up and why do I have the mentality that I have. A wise man once told me behind every overnight success are years of tireless effort. He also said not to give up you never know how far you can go until you go as far as you can.”


“My father died of cancer when I was a year old and my mother neglected and abused me. She often locked me in the basement and did not allow any form of socialization other than school. I finally found the courage to leave and signed in to foster care, which labeled me as a delinquent in my school. In the program I learned how to adjust and be resilient, always be prepared for change. I learned how to manage several jobs along with school as well as handle appointments with the Division (DCP&P) and many programs I was referred to to help me transition to adulthood. Although I was neglected and was not taught anything as a child, I have grown and adjusted to society within this program. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to build my own life.”


“At the age of 8, I lost my mom. She was my best friend, the adrenaline that ran through my body, and the arch in my smile. When the state finally decided that the home in which we were placed was no longer safe, they put us in a foster home… with new strangers in an unfamiliar environment. When I turned 18, I enlisted into the United States army, in search of a new beginning. I tried to bury the stress I carried throughout my life but everything spiraled down. Shortly after coming home, my health began to worsen, and no medical professional could tell me why. I ended up having a mini stroke and could not walk or speak. For 2 years, I’ve been in and out of hospitals, I’ve seen multiple doctors and specialists, I’ve been on over 30 different medications and have had many procedures, and everything I did.. I did by myself. I started to become hopeless thinking about the possibility of being homeless and sick…. until my caseworker gave me an application to Roots and Wings. I knew that this was my only opportunity for a new beginning. I wanted Roots and Wings to know that my health situation was far from perfect, but I had much more to offer their program, and that was my perseverance. They gave me the second chance no one else was willing to give. For the first time in 13 years, I had the support I longed for; for the first time I had a place to call home. This program has allowed me to pursue my passion for music and writing extensively. I went 3 years without playing my trumpet and never felt complete because of that, until a donor gave me one. That act of kindness was the patch that healed my heart. I hope to someday open my own music shop and have my book and writing content published. The only way I can express my gratitude is to be successful in my passions that you have allowed me to continue. And I know that someday I may not be able to change the world, but I’ll change the heart of at least one individual who is living the mirror imaged life I once lived.”


“I Applied to Roots and Wings after hearing about it from a old friend. Before, I was living in shelters, becoming homeless and working 2 jobs to try and get my own place. One day, I received a call from Rebecca saying I was number one on the list and she would like an interview. I felt in my heart that my life was going to change and I was ready to trust the process. 6 months into the program, I am a student, I have a part time job, my own home, a mentor and people in my corner pushing me to become an independent woman. Roots and Wings provides me with a path to my future to help me become successful and I’m forever thankful for that.”


“Roots and Wings was a great transition for me. To be independent and comfortable, not worrying about food or a place to stay, it’s incredible. I can focus on school a lot more knowing that I have great support from Roots and Wings staff members. I can always ask them for advice and they would always lead me on the right path. I am truly grateful and appreciative of everything they do for me.”


“Roots and Wings has been a great experience for me. It has been a great feeling of having a stable home, going to school and working. Roots and Wings gives an opportunity for those who do not have anything. I am able to try and to make something out of myself. I feel pushed to do what I have to do in order to keep making progress. They pay my rent so I think of my contribution as going to school and doing my best. If I did not have a roof over my head, I would not be in the position to do all these things. I am very grateful and I plan on continuing to push myself.”


“When I was young I was only good at one thing and that was fighting. I didn’t know too much. I never thought I was going to do something with my life. It took me a couple of years to figure out what I wanted to do, and to figure out what is my purpose in life. I’ve been through a lot of things, I’ve seen a lot of things alone… a lot of things. School was not my favorite thing because at a young age, I always used to get picked on or bullied. No one could take care of me so I hated school. I started bullying people, but as I got older I started realizing the things I was doing were wrong. I started telling myself that I dictate my own behavior and my own actions and the way people see me. Not having the proper care, like food, clothes, a bed, money, or a set place to stay, was hard. But there were people in life that lived a harder life than me and got through. The more my state of mind stated to change the more I saw things differently. But to sit here and think about going to college is a blessing because of where I come from and all of the obstacles I had to overcome, and all of the things I said I would never do, I did. Sometimes when I think about my future and where I want to go in my life, I think that I can’t do it, but I remind myself, if that I could stop selling drugs and graduate high school than I can overcome any obstacles ….Roots and Wings is making the possibility of going to college a reality for me. This program has helped me so much.”