Meet Ruth, an LAYC participant who inspired us all this year with her unending inner strength, resiliency, and optimism as she worked tirelessly to graduate from high school, enter college, and build a better life for herself.
Over the past five years, Ruth’s family moved over 15 times, living in numerous apartments and shelters, dealing with considerable financial stress and multiple challenges in the household. Financial worries and Ruth’s responsibilities have increased even more since the pandemic. During this time, Ruth has been working, caring for adult family members and younger siblings, all while working hard to finish high school and apply for college.
With support from LAYC’s Promotor Pathway® and supporters like you, Ruth and her family were connected to critical food and rental assistance, beds and other furniture, hygiene products, counseling support, laptop and internet access to study and prepare for college, as well as social opportunities for Ruth to connect with peers.
Ruth just graduated at the very top of her 2020 Roosevelt High School class and was accepted to nearly every college she applied to. Ruth is attending George Mason University in the fall, where she has received a full scholarship!
“The Promotor Pathway helped me manage all of the other challenges going on in my life so that I could focus on school and be where I am today. My future is bright. I plan to major in biology and my goal is to be a surgeon.” – Ruth, 2020 graduate and George Mason University freshman
Relationships between LAYC youth and our staff provide support and validation and build on trust and compassion. We cannot underestimate the power of this kind of support system at a time where youth are feeling more and more isolated, unsure, and in need of encouragement.
It is not uncommon that young people like Ruth find themselves taking on adult responsibilities that contribute significant additional stress. While there are many aspects of their lives that they cannot control, youth like Ruth learn that persistence and individual choices made along a difficult journey can produce fruit and lead to success, even if the result is not immediate.
Ruth is excited about her path forward and it is remarkable to see her profound personal growth as she learns that the difficulties that she has faced do not limit how far she can go. This is what LAYC wants for all youth, that they be empowered and find purpose that will motivate them to work towards goals with a hopeful outlook for the future.