NYAP – Ohio: Letter from a CANEI Graduate

Pete Milless, General Counsel and Director of Care Management, send us the following: Sometimes we can all use a reminder of why we do what we do. I have seen none better than the one given to us by Lisa, one of our Care Management youth who just completed our CANEI program. On Tuesday evening, 9/20/11, the CANEI program in Columbus, OH held its first graduating ceremony. Five youth completed the program and one of them, Lisa, elected to share her experiences with the program by reading a letter she had written for the occasion. Lisa has given her permission to publish her letter and it follows:

“When I first came into this program, no one could tell me anything, not even the one person I love the most, my mother. I remember her telling me “you’re not gonna make it if you can’t do the right thing” and I took everything she said for granted and thought it was all a joke until I was introduced to reality. And trust me, it hit me hard, I lost everything at once. I lost my place to live, I lost a lot of my friends and mostly I lost most of my family. Some of them don’t even talk to me because they feel I’m a bad example for their children. But I admit at the time I wasn’t setting a good example for my nieces and nephews and I never wanted them to end up like me. Everything that was happening was just me seeking attention and when I got attention in my mind it wasn’t enough. But then I met Brian and Jazmine and they’ve changed my life completely. I feel like they have really helped me improve my life physically and mentally. They’ve taught me “if you set your mind to something you wanna do, you’ll succeed.” And I look back at all the dirt I’ve done to people and I always ask myself why do I like to hurt people and where does it get me. Absolutely nowhere. And I can say Brian and Jazmine have never cut down on me. They were there to make sure I survived because the path I was going down was killing me, physically and mentally. But all I got to say is Thank You Brian and Thank you Jazmine. If it weren’t for you guys, who knows where I would be. I loved the program and everyone that was in the program was great, I’m gonna miss you guys. Thank you for helping me look into my future instead of staying stuck in my past. I appreciate everything you guys have done for me. I love you guys and you are the best. I’ll be back to visit. Love Lisa”

Kudos to Brian Bohl, Treatment Coordinator, and Jazmin Schilling, Treatment Advocate, for a job well done!