I started at Youth Crossroads when I was a freshman at Morton East High School. I didn’t want to just come home after-school and do homework. I wanted to make new friends. At the time I didn’t know how much depression and anxiety were impacting my life. And then when Covid hit, it made things twice as bad.
Being part of Youth Crossroads made it possible for me to talk to the staff like Briani and Olivia about some of the problems I was having. I had to work really hard to learn how to bring my anxiety depression under control, and that’s really made things a lot better for me. I started doing way better in school and started doing extracurriculars. I joined the golf team and that really took off. Things are going so much better for me now. I’m doing amazingly well from a mental health standpoint, and I’ve got 4 A’s, a B and a C in my senior year.
The thing that really helped me at Youth Crossroads was learning how to do public speaking. I really love doing that because it gets me out of my comfort zone, and you get to find your moment. I like to tell a crowd about my story and show them what’s up. After 4 years in the program, I feel like I’ve become one of the group leaders who can help the other students when they are having a tough day. When I graduate from high school, my plan is going to Morton College and play on their golf team and also go into their paramedic and fire science program. It may sound like a cliché, but ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a firefighter and a first responder and help people out. The community service program at Youth Crossroads really drove that home for me.