May 30, 2018
Youth Spotlight—Kristin Sanchez
“Janus Youth changed my life in so many ways,” says 28 year-old, Kristin Sanchez. As a teen mom, in a violent relationship and trying to find stable housing, Kristin came to Insights Teen Parent Program for support.
Struggling as a young parent, Kristin embarked on a difficult journey when her then two-year old son was placed into foster care by the Department of Human Services-Child Welfare (DHS). While this was heartbreaking for her, Kristin was determined to do all that she could to get him back in her care.
She started by getting support from Insights’ Echo program which provides customized services for young parents in foster care or for those whose children are in foster care. “Whatever they would ask me to do, I would do more. Nothing was going to stop me,” says Kristin. She got involved in Insights’ Strong Moms Group focused on learning the skills she needed keep herself and her child safe and became a role model for other young moms in the group, encouraging them to meet all of DHS’ requirements.
After eight months and a lot of hard work, Kristin’s son was returned to her. “This situation helped me grow in so many ways and I was confident that the information I received from the Janus Youth programs made me who I am today.”
Kristin is the proud and devoted mother of two children, ages 8 and 11. She is married and both she and her family are living in a 3-bedroom house and are thriving. Her son is a talented artist. “He can draw anything,” says Kristin. He was recently accepted into a charter school, where he’ll begin middle school in the fall. Kristin works at JOIN—a homeless street outreach and housing placement organization—as their Dayspace Worker helping those experiencing homelessness. She is in her junior year at Portland State University working towards a degree in psychology. Somewhere in her future, Kristin hopes to have a career in the medical field as an ultrasound technician.