When Kyle first arrived to the shelter he was reserved and kept to himself. His stay in the Cascade Youth and Family Center’s (CYFC) emergency shelter was an escape from family conflict at home. He had been working with our crisis intervention and family mediation, a part of CYFC’s Basic Center Program, and then applied to become a resident of our longer-term transitional living program, Living Options For Teens (LOFT).
Once Kyle settled in, he started to relax and come out of his shell. He became more confident in himself and created connections with other youth that helped him express himself. Living at the LOFT gave him a stable environment that allowed him to focus and attend school consistently. Kyle brought his grades up and even received an award for Junior Student of the Month in December! Kyle was so proud of this award, and in that moment, he realized other people were seeing the changes in him too.
The CYFC staff assisted Kyle in creating positive connections in the community. He was connected with a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters, which furthered Kyle’s growth in relationships. Other youth began looking to Kyle as a role model for the LOFT program and Kyle was voted onto the Youth Advisory Council. This role encouraged him to continue advocating for himself and other youth, which in turn assisted the program’s development.
During his stay with us, Kyle’s relationship with his parents healed and flourished. Multiple times, he told us that his relationship with his parents was the best it had ever been and then, Kyle was able to safely return home. He takes with him the ability to advocate for himself, communicate clearly with his family and peers and establish healthy boundaries.
One of Kyle’s favorite coping skills he learned while at the LOFT was cooking. He is looking forward to taking a culinary class at school next semester to expand upon his skills.
Kyle’s father thanked the LOFT for their support. Seeing Kyle’s most recent report card, his father shared, the changes he has seen in Kyle are incredible.
We are happy for Kyle and his family, and proud of everything he has accomplished.
An Awesome Match
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon’s mission is to create one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the promise and power of youth. The newest “Big” in our program, Francia, is also a staff member and Match Support Specialist. “Little” Javier has been waiting for his match since June 2021. When Francia heard about Javier she knew he was the perfect Little for her.
Javier has Cerebral Palsy and his mother has expressed that it has been hard to find services for him. She really wanted Javier to find a Big Brother or Big Sister and has been engaged in the process. Javier and Francia hit it off immediately, making plans of their first outing. He told her that he wanted someone that could take him to Walmart and he wants to eat Wendy’s in the park. He also asked if they could go to the library.
While Javier’s speech is limited, he is happy to speak to Francia in Spanish. Javier is bi-lingual in English and Spanish and he is learning French!
Javier is looking forward to floating the river next summer with his new Big Sister. Francia!
Kindred Connections has been helping a teen Mom for nearly two years. The Mom, we will call her Carrie, reached out asking for help with her 2 year old son. She was moving, struggling with her mental health and requesting respite support so she could catch up on life. Between bills, many appointments and moving she was feeling overwhelmed.
We called the wonderful volunteers who had helped Carrie and 2 year old Nathan before to see if they could help now. Yes, with delight, these families have cared for Nathan many times for a week each stay and were happy to do it again!
Presenting OHDC 2022
We are busy planning for this summer’s Oregon High Desert Classics, and excited for another great event. We are very happy to announce our 2022 Presenting Sponsor Basalite Building Products, LLC, a subsidiary of Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc. Through the support of our sponsors we are able to cover much of the cost of this largest fundraiser of the year, and allow more of the revenue from entry fees to go toward our work helping youth succeed in Central Oregon.
Basalite is one of the largest suppliers of concrete masonry products in Western North America. Product lines include structural block, interlocking paving stones, wall systems, retaining walls, ornamental and garden products, and a full range of packaged concrete/mortar products. We are grateful to them for stepping up to this highest level of support of the OHDC.