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I’ve Made It This Far

I’m 14 years old and very artistic. I love art. I’m really smart in school and my favorite subject in school is math. I was once sexually abused, and I’ve been in foster care ever since. I’m in this program because I run away a lot, but I’m working on it. Someday, I’m hoping to […]

We’re All Connected

I had my own studio where I helped other people believe they could heal. I taught them Pilates, holistic health, and biomechanics to help them recover from complex injuries and surgery. About a year ago, after having lunch with a friend, I got into a taxi to come downtown to my next client. The taxi […]

I Know That I Am Valued

I’ve learned many things while living in foster care, but my major lesson was to exercise self-restraint and patience. Everything is a process, and I have to stick with it. Sometimes, I have to do something blindfolded to see the results after. Before Kaplan House, I lived in another youth residence because I had family […]

You Can Be Better Because You Are Better

When I was younger, I had trouble controlling and understanding my emotions. That was the hardest thing, because I’d feel angry or sad, not know why, and lash out. I also got high so I didn’t have to feel anything. This led me to doing bad things with bad people. One day after my parents […]

Don’t Give Up: You’re Not Alone

I have two kids: a son named Aiden and a daughter named Grace Vivian. Grace is always asking me where her middle name comes from and I have to tell her a bit of my story. Back in 1983, my parents weren’t together. My mom had a lot of mental illness and my dad had […]

There’s No Way to Move But Up

When I was 14 years old, I started harming myself in different ways: cutting myself, drinking, doing drugs. I felt very alone — I wanted to die — and didn’t think anyone could help me because I couldn’t trust anyone. My parents thought it was a phase, but I was looking for anything to get […]

JACS Taught Me What I Needed to Know

Accepting the invitation to speak at the JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) Retreat Big Meeting on Friday night came almost automatically, but my stomach had been fluttering for a number of days. I’m a teacher by vocation and have done public speaking to various types of audiences. I taught English, dancing, […]

My Life Makes Sense Again

I came to The Jewish Board during a time of great difficulty: because of my addiction to alcohol, I lost my home, my job as a marketing and public relations professional, and had to start living in a residential treatment program. After a year of residential treatment via another provider’s program, I was accepted into […]