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Nov 14, 2016

With Support Comes A New Life

For most of his life, 18 year old Adam Ramey didn’t like adults. Growing up in a family where he experienced domestic violence, he never had anyone that he could depend on. After brief stays at a shelter and a foster home, at age 13 he arrived at Cordero—one of our residential services—a scared, angry teen who pushed people away. Having felt betrayed and abandoned for years, Adam remained angry and aloof. The Cordero staff kept trying to communicate with him saying, “we’re here for you.” Says Adam, “first I thought that was ridiculous, you don’t even know me. But there was one person who persisted and I believed her sincerity and began opening up. Thanks to the Cordero staff, I was able to become the person I am today. They helped keep me sane.” It took a few months, but gradually Adam realized that there really were people who cared for him. He soon developed close relationships with staff and peers.

That was the first step Adam took toward his path of healing, but there was still a big hurdle he had to overcome: lying about his past. Because his childhood was so traumatic, he says he blocked out much of it from his memory, including some things he did that hurt others. After a year and a half of telling lies, he finally told the truth and took accountability for his actions. “No one wants to talk about things they did wrong,” says Adam. To his surprise, the Cordero staff accepted him and supported his process of making positive changes in his life.

Along with a supportive staff, Cordero provided Adam the structure necessary for his change. “Before Cordero, I got a 0.6 GPA in my eighth grade science class. I went to school high, hung out with girls off campus and skipped class,” said Adam. But going to high school within the Cordero residence without the distractions he previously experienced in high school, Adam could focus on school work in a new way. He found new interests and started writing poetry and music lyrics. Last June he graduated with a 3.6 grade point average. His long term goal is to go to Portland State University to study music. He discovered his passion for music at Cordero. “Every summer we had a luau and I performed along with other peers for two years. It was such a great event,” says Adam.

Adam graduates from Cordero soon to begin his new life full of hope and gratitude. Says Adam, “without Janus and the supportive staff at Cordero, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have the same goals, I wouldn’t love people. I would still be an angry kid.” 

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Nov 16, 2017
Visit The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall & Look for Janus Youth With the Red Dot on Gift Tag

The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall is a great way to make sure each of our youth has a gift to open on Christmas morning. Just pick an ornament from the tree located in the Nordstrom wing, near Williams-Sonoma and purchase the item listed on the tag. Return the unwrapped gifts to the Sharing Tree by December 20th so the gifts can be delivered by Christmas. These gifts are distributed to Janus and eight other charities throughout the Portland metro area. Each year, more than 4,500 gifts are given to those in need through the Washington Square Sharing Tree.

Oct 31, 2017
Share the Season of Giving

You can make the holidays bright for Janus children, youth and families. Every gift or donation makes a difference. Click here to complete your donation choice.

Oct 04, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Sina Youssefzadeh

Sina is a passionate advocate for marginalized youth and social justice. Five years ago when he moved to Portland and was involved in grassroots social justice work, he learned about Janus’ work in the community and applied for a Crisis Intake Specialist position at Harry’s Mother, our Runaway Youth Services program. Since then, Sina has continued to help develop a trauma informed approach to the work done within his cohort, build relationships with youth and families and offer referrals to other partnering agencies. We talked to Sina to find out more about what he does in his current position.

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