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Oct 01, 2014

Youth Voices – In Their Own Words

Last year our Oak Grove shelter in Vancouver, Washington served 342 youth between the ages of 12 and 17. That’s 342 times our shelter was the only safe place for these youth, providing them refuge from the streets. One anonymous youth wrote this essay for other youth coming to Oak Grove. They allowed us to share it here.

In need of help

For all who don’t know who I am well I am a foster kid just like you! I am 16 and my biological mother is a drug addict and I have been in and out of foster care but the 3 years I've been in 11 different homes this past year, it’s not fun at all to be moving every other day it really isn't.

So listen I know how you feel, you feel upset, angry, hurt, alone, scared, mad, even wanting to die. I know I feel all of those everyday but wanting to die isn't gonna solve your problems. I learned that the hard way and I know when people will tell you that ‘it’s going to be okay’ or ‘it’s gonna get better’ You think or say ‘No it's not you don’t know me or my life’ but hey it just might.

Let people help you and parent you, don’t fight it, it will only bring you more trouble and less people in your life.

I’m saying this because I've done this. I know how hard it is for some of you who have parents who have either abandoned you or have used drugs or even did both. I know how you feel ‘Why doesn't my parent or parents care about me?!’

You may love and or hate the State for taking you away from that situation but you are better off with the State then getting hurt every day and night.

I’m always telling the state people and my social worker I hate them and they don’t know me but what they've read in my file and that I can’t wait till they’re out of my life but they are just looking out for me.

You may not like it but take advantage of it. Life is what you make of it, you can choose to stay and make it the best or you can run and move from place to place.

But in the end it’s your life you can choose whether or not to get back up.

These things you should always remember in life are:

1.  You are Beautiful / Handsome

2.  You are smart and intelligent

3.  ‘Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game’

4.  You can be anything you wanna be if you put your mind to it

5.  Be better than your parents or where you came from!

6.  Love YOURSELF!

Lastly, Be a kid enjoy it while it lasts, don’t grow up so fast and be grown so enjoy it while it lasts cause I didn’t but good luck, hope this helped you.


Jun 14, 2018
​Board of Directors Spotlight—Chad Paulson

Chad Paulson, General Counsel at Blount International and has been a member of the Janus Board of Directors since 2005, serving as Board President from 2011-2012. He has two children and when not running after his three-year old, enjoys playing golf.

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, struggling in a violent relationship and trying to find stable housing, Kristin came to Insights Teen Parent Program for support.

May 22, 2018
Eighth Grader Organizes Race For Janus Youth

When 14-year-old Bella told her mother she wanted to organize her own “Family Fun Run” to benefit Janus Youth Programs, her mom thought, “Why don’t you just run in a race instead?” But Bella had a vision and a strong drive to organize the event herself, which she did on May 20th at the Wilson High School track. Every detail of the event—from garnering donations for swag items, applying for a grant to help offset costs, organizing a bake sale, to publicity—Bella planned with support from family and friends. The event was a big success and raised close to $1,000 for Janus.

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