SRD-Straightening Reins – September 2019
In order to discover how effective a not-for-profit is, it’s important to speak to those who the program serves. I reached out to one such person that has been a client of SRD-Straightening Reins for the past five months. We shall call her “V” for anonymity.
V had been in the foster care system from the time she was nine and at fifteen ran away to age out of the system that she felt had let her down. In foster care you are no longer served past your eighteenth birthday whether or not you are ready to be on your own.
Being tired of living on the street and self-medicating with drugs, V heard of a foster care support group that would assist her with obtaining transitional housing. The support group helped V find a job but her chronic depression and anxiety remained undiagnosed until she met Deborah Rocha, SRD’s founder.
V arrived at the SRD ranch for one of the programs and immediately felt safe with the horses. When other teens found the horses to be intimidating, V stepped up and showed no fear. As Rocha, became more acquainted with V she realized she needed an ally to encourage her to complete her diploma and to get assistance for her mental health issues.
It took V a year to make a commitment to SRD and become sober. V is a natural leader amongst the other youth at the ranch. She is less self-conscious and anxious, is working on finishing her school credits and is in the AJCC part-time youth employment program. V stated she has learned to better communicate and likes mentoring others.
Facing daily hurdles, V’s long-term goals are to reach out to youth like herself and to be a positive role model.
For more information, please visit www.srdstraighteningreins.org.
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