Odyssey House Profile of Change - RC, 16 years old
As promised, each Monday we will provide to you a real story* as told by either a program graduate or current client. This week's resident is a 16 year old male that has now achieved honor roll status with his grades for three consecutive semesters and has just advanced to a new level. He provided the following story that depicts his change and growth....
*Some elements of the story may have been changed in order to ensure client confidentiality.
"Story of My New Life"
I stood in the doorway at Odyssey. I stood there thinking for a minute. Then I walked on through the Odyssey doorway ready to change my life around.The first day it was scary for me because I did not know what to do. At first I was not willing to do the work. I was not following the rules, and being disrespectful to staff. Then after the first month, I was doing better.
I remember walkting through those doors and thinking about running, but now I don't think about running anymore. Now I am a sophomore (4th level out of 6 in the program), and I am doing better with the things like negative peer groups, respect, lying and lots more. I want to be there for my son when he talks and walks. I also want to stay sober and be with my family and have a great life with them.
As I start my new life I walk and think every day of my life, and say to myself what is it going to take for me to start doing things right? I think what kind of life do I want for myself and for my son and family? As I sit and think I finally know what I want in life. I want to be somebody that is always happy for what I do best at. I want to be able to help people out when they need it. I want to be there for my brother and be a positive role model for all of them, so that they don't end up in prison or dead. Now I know that there are a lot of different things to do in life and in Utah instead of using or being around bad influences. We all can do something different like go fishing, camping, or being with your family.
Now I can look at myself and be happy for who I am and for what I do. Now I can tell my family how good and great I am doing here, and tell people that I am doing a ngreat job in school. As I am looking at how great I am doing in school, reading, math, and in this program, I know I am going to do great in the real world. If I work my butt off this year I can be done with school in the 11th grade. I can tell people that I finished with school in the 11th grade. Before I got here I wasn't doing well in school. Now I know how to read, and write.
When I walked in the doorway I did not know who I was. Now, look at myself, it's like I am a new man and a whole new person. When I finish Odyssey House I will leave here with a lot more tools, and skills. I can be a lot happier and a lot more respectful, and be happy for all the changes I have made since walking through those doors on that cold winter day in Utah. Now I know what I want to do with my life and how to use the tools that I learned from Odyssey House. I walked through the doorway with my old bad life. I am walking out of here with a new lifestyle.
-RC, 16 years old, 3-time honor roll since admission
Salt Lake City, Utah