Sometimes, in working with our youth, it can be a challenge to find common ground for topics that support the growth of a healthy relationship. In my time working with Julia we learned that the two of us shared an interest in cooking. Julia and I would often spend time during our daily check-in discussing recipes and dishes we both particularly enjoyed. Julia often expressed to me that one of the things she looked forward to the most for when she secured her own housing was to have access to a kitchen and begin to explore her passion for cooking again.
Recently, Julia told me she had found a room to rent with a friend and that she planned to move out of the Crisis Program. Julia expressed that while she would be sad to say good-bye she was ready to live independently…. and to cook! This evening, Julia passed on to me that she would be spending time with friends doing some baking. When she returned for curfew, Julia came in with a huge smile and a tray full of fresh baked cookies.
Julia excitedly told me about all the different kinds of cookies they had baked, and that she had brought in the tray to share with all the staff. Julia said that it was important to her to show gratitude for the help she had received during her stay and for having had a safe place to stay which prepared her for independent living. While the cookies looked delicious, my favorite part of this moment with Julia was that she had taken time out of her day to prepare and share this gesture of thanks.