Vivian's Story

Vivian photoMy name is Vivian and I just turned 18. I'm a senior at Evergreen High school. I'm on track to graduate on time and my goal is to attend college this fall and be successful in school. I'll be the first in my immediate family to attend college and I want to set a good example for my brothers. I plan on majoring in nursing because I really enjoy helping people.

I'm the only girl in my family but have three brothers. My mom raised us all as a single parent. My dad left us when I was 5, and my mother left us when I was 14. I lived in a group home for a while and then moved in with my grandmother and aunt. Unfortunately I was separated from my brothers for 2-3 years and we lost touch with each other. I had four different social workers and it was hard to stay in touch with my brothers with so many different people involved in our lives. I'm happy now though because my brothers are all living in the same home and I'm able to see them.

I found out about the YMCA Independent Living Program because my social worker referred me. A Y resource specialist came to my school and told me about everything the program has to offer. Now we work on things ranging from completing college applications to getting a WA state ID to figuring out how I can get contact lenses. The Y has really helped me learn to set goals and achieve them. Through the Y I also have a matched savings account and I feel secure enough that I won't have to worry anymore about housing. The Y makes me happy!