Justin started high school this year. Like most kids, he found it to be a completely different ballgame academically and socially. Unlike most kids, Justin has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He wanted to do the athletics and sports his friends did, but felt isolated, different, and stuck. His social worker at NAC suggested that he give therapy a try. He was skeptical and nervous about the prospect of talking about his emotions, but now feels that therapy is the biggest key to his improvement. Justin began inviting his foster mother to his sessions so she could get a better understanding of him, and their relationship has changed dramatically. Justin’s therapy at NAC changed his outlook on his life, and himself.  

Getting it all down...

Justin met weekly with the Education team at NAC to get him back on track with his schooling, and ensure that his college dreams were well within his reach. One of his biggest cheerleaders at NAC, Sharon in educational services, encouraged him to write down his thoughts about his experience in foster care. Not only did Justin write the piece, he submitted it to Youth Communication's annual essay contest. Justin's moving and insightful essay won the grand prize at the 18th Annual Awards for Youth in Foster Care Ceremony.

Justin was highlighted, not only for his award, but also when he was mentioned in a video congratulations by First Lady Chirlaine McCray, and then at the end by an impromptu speech by one of the other youth recipients who was very inspired by Justin.

You can read Justin's winning essay here.

Looking forward

Justin's life has improved dramatically since he first started working with NAC. His grades have gone from nearly failing to honor roll material, and his confidence has followed suit. He is now pursuin social events and sports. Justin recently joined a sled hockey team and has been asked to participate in scuba diving and wheelchair basketball. e.

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