October 2015

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.
16 y/o female - student living in a single parent household, mother is unemployed with unstable housing.  Student is feeling overwhelmed by family situation and having difficulty concentrating in school. She shared that Youth Project allows her a space to speak her mind and tell someone about what is going on at home. Youth Project counselor and student work together to enhance coping skills and identify sources of strength in her life. 
16 y/o female - student lives with grandparents because parents are dealing with incarceration and substance abuse. She shares that she looks forward to sessions with Youth Project counselor and is able to get things off her chest, rather than keep them bottled up inside. Youth Project counselor offers support and a safe environment for student to share her feelings. 
15 y/o female - student struggles with school work, anxiety and anger. Student likes coming to the Youth Project because she can openly talk about her feelings; she does not like to share at home because her parents are busy with work and she does not want to burden them. Youth Project counselor is helping her identify the sources of her anxiety and anger in order to develop better coping skills and how to strengthen communication skills with parents.
18 y/o male - student struggles with self-confidence and social skills believing it stems from middle school when he was placed into special needs classes. He states that he feels "lower" than his peers since he was put into a different learning environment at a young age, and for an extended time period. Although the student is presently mainstreamed into regular classes, he continues to feel judged in various aspects of his life, such as, school, relationships, family, etc. His inability to trust anyone as well as his perceived poor physical appearance are the major aspects of his life that make him feel unhappy. The student desperately wishes to gain self-confidence, and to not feel "unequal" or "awkward" in social settings any longer. The Youth Project counselor is helping the student explore specific areas in his life where confidence is lacking and to identify appropriate coping skills that will move him closer to his goal.
Girls Issue Group: 14-18 years old- students struggles to manage daily stressors including school, home life, peer pressure, relationships, "drama", friends, as well as lacking in time management skills. They are hoping to connect with other girls in similar situations to gain a sense of camaraderie. Youth Project staff is helping to create healthy coping skills to manage multiple stressors while building group cohesion.
15 y/o female - student has a history of cutting and depression. Since meeting with Youth Project staff she has reported immense pride for not cutting herself in several months. Student said she liked having someone to talk to and that the program helped improve her daily life at home and at school. 
The Youth Project is celebrating 15 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 29,000 youth and 6,000 adults.   
To learn more about us and how you can help visit www.HelpNotHassle.org