February 2016

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.
13 y/o male - student is struggling with having no contact with his father.  Student is unsure why he can no longer see his dad and struggles with the absence/loss.  He feels they were very close and he misses the relationship they shared.  He has questions and no answers.  He is working with his counselor to deal with the loss of contact as well as the changes at home and family dynamic.
16 y/o female - student is facing the intense challenges associated with frequent moves.  Due to financial difficulties, she and her mother move regularly and they are struggling to find a place that feels like "home." Her time with the Youth Project counselor is spent dealing with her own emotions of feeling displaced and unsettled, but also her desire to to protect and help her mom. 
14 y/o female -student  is struggling with anxiety around eating.  She shared with her Youth Project counselor that she is feeling panicked around meal times.  She is working on developing healthy habits relating to food and body image.
17 y/o female - student is working on transitioning out of Youth Project services after having participated in the program for 2 years.  She shared with her counselor that she has developed positive coping skills and improved her communication.  She has expressed feeling confident in her abilities.  
14 y/o female - student is grieving the loss of her stepdad and brother, while coping with the added trauma that they were murdered.  Her brother was only 4 years old.  2015 was the first holiday season without them.
17 y/o male - student comes from a family with strong gang ties, substance abuse and domestic violence; and he is dealing with the sudden death of his father. Student is working on healthy communication, anger issues, creating and maintaining strong relationships and healing from old childhood wounds that have resurfaced with his father's death.
15 y/o female - student has been working with Youth Project counselor on self harm and thoughts of suicide.  She returned from holiday break sharing that she stayed busy with friends and utilized the support system they had discussed before break.  Student was able to refrain from self-harm and is looking forward to continued socialization and healthy coping.
The Youth Project is celebrating 16 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