A success story:
Josh came to Youth Service Bureau (YSB) as a sad 12 year old. His sadness was easily understood. At the age of 10, Josh was a fifth-grader who felt like everyone else. By age 12, his world changed completely. His father was incarcerated for a drug offense. His mom, who had never worked before, seemed now to be at work all the time. They moved from a house in his hometown to an apartment in a nearby town, and he lost his friends. Though he had done well in grade school, he hated junior high. In reaction to his situation, Josh did something many kids do. He skipped school. He spent most of his time alone. His life was empty. He was unsupervised, adrift and in trouble.
When Josh’s problem became evident at school, the guidance counselor made a referral to YSB. Within days, a YSB counselor visited Josh and his mother at home and consulted with the school. With Josh and his mother’s help, she soon formed a plan for Josh to become the kind of kid he wanted to be. The counselor didn’t start with truancy. She focused on what Josh wanted and needed to achieve his goals. As much as Josh wanted to avoid school, he was honest in saying he wanted to be successful there. The counselor involved Josh’s mom in her visits. Their family had problems, but she focused on their strengths. Josh needed to know what he could count on from his mom and what he couldn’t. Josh’s mom realized she could help by being more consistent as a parent, setting clear expectations and providing consequences when Josh didn’t comply.
Many weeks were rocky, but soon the good weeks outpaced the difficult ones. There was marked improvement in Josh’s school attendance and his grades. He began to feel and appear to others more like the regular kid everyone remembered.
The help our agency provides is not always exceptional. It is genuine caring coupled with a structured and professional approach. YSB’s mission is to help children and their families succeed, and we carry out that mission in a variety of ways. Josh and his mom are just one example of the many children and families we help by restoring hope.
Call the Bureau County United Way at 815-872-0821 for information on how you can lend a helping hand to those in need in Bureau County.