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Feb 15, 2017

​Next steps After Imani

This month, Christian Ford will graduate from Imani House, one of our residential treatment programs that help youth between the ages of 13 to 18 rebuild their lives. 18 year-old Christian, a soft-spoken youth, has plans for his life after Imani. Like so many of the youth we serve, his journey in getting to where he is today was filled with many challenges.

It all began when Christian’s life took an abrupt turn—at age 10, his mother died. She had been sick for many years and Christian did his best to care for her. “I felt like any time I helped her, she would get better,” says Christian. For the next five years, Christian’s home life was unstable and at age 15, Christian was taken away from his family. He spent a few months in a couple of facilities before he was placed in Imani where, for the first time in his life, he was encouraged to talk about his feelings. Says Christian, “in the beginning, I was closed off, but after about six months, I began to develop a good relationship with staff and started making friends. I felt a sense of community. Imani is like another family. When my father died, Imani staff was there and helped me learn to express myself.”

After Christian graduates from Imani, he will live with a foster family and finish up high school at David Douglas in June. He then plans to go to Portland State University in the fall to study nursing and psychology. His goal is to become a registered nurse and later, an alcohol and drug counselor. “When my mom died, I decided that I wanted to help people, even if they may not heal, at least I’m moving them forward,” says Christian. And that is exactly what Christian is doing—moving forward, in a positive direction.

As Christian begins the next chapter of his life, his advice to other Janus youth is “Trust what your heart says and go with it.”

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May 22, 2017
Scholarships Awarded To Our Youth

On May 17th, the Janus Board of Directors, staff and community members honored 15 youth in our programs who were recipients of our scholarship awards. Now in its sixteenth year, the scholarships open the door to education for our youth by helping to pay for school expenses such as tuition, books and rent.

This year’s scholarship recipients are from an array of Janus programs including Insights Teen Parent Program, Imani House, Changes, Annex I, Harry’s Mother and Hope Partnership. Special thanks to Robert Gootee and Moda Health for their support in launching the Scholarship Fund in 2001 and to Joanne Senders—a generous donor who established the Joanne Senders Scholarship Fund.  

Photo: Left to right: Jeremy Ericksen, Thomas Spisla, Christian Ford, Griffin Thomas, Robert Gootee, Gustavo Portillo-Soto, Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow and Dalon Murray. Not pictured: Alejandra Hernandez, Nicholas Schafer, Elishah Eduardo Asbaugh, Johnathan Baker, Cayce French, Robert Miller, Agustin Estrada-Vargas, Ezequiel Vasquez, and Bailey Allman.

May 08, 2017
Youth Voices—In Their Own Words

My experience at Cordero House was one of the most significant events to have happened to me. Let me start with a background of who I am. I came from a small village in the countryside of El Salvador. At a young age, I learned to be independent, going to school and helping with the daily chores. I moved to the city for a very brief moment before flying to the U.S. At first, I felt strange and overwhelmed with everyone and everything around me. As time went by, I found myself in a state of confusion. Alone, I had no one to turn to ask for help. Instead, I did things that to this day I regret. Such events led to me spending time in a youth corrections facility.

May 01, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Angie Corll

Angie knows what it feels like to run away. She did it for years, running away from abusive and neglectful homes, opting for freedom and danger of the streets over security. This life on the run led her down many dark paths for years until she became the kid that no one wanted to take in. Finally, in 1993, with the help of her probation officer, she entered a Janus residential program. That was a turning point. Says Angie, “I was blessed to have been given a second chance.” Now she works as a Youth Care Specialist at our Oak Grove shelter in SW Washington, helping youth who are facing similar life crisis as she did. We talked to Angie to find out how her experiences has prepared her to serve our youth.

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