John ran away from home when he was 14. We don’t much about what his life was like at home but our staff suspect there was sexual abuse and neglect. He was home schooled and lived his life in isolation. Lacking even the most basic socialization skills, when John first came to us, he would tremble with anxiety when forced together with others in an elevator or around the dining table. John has had many hurdles to climb and his journey has been inspiring to watch unfold.
John stayed in our Crisis Program for 6 months and while there began working on completing his high school education. A natural computer whiz, John secured a job with a large computer company from the States. With no drug or alcohol abuse issues, we were able to help John focus on his two biggest areas of opportunity:
1) Addressing his chronic depression and anxiety
2) Learning how to interact socially with others
Eventually John moved to Rights of Passage (ROP), our transitional living program, where we continued to work with him on his depression and social skills. He earned a unique opportunity to travel with a humanitarian group where he would be camping and living with other youth for a few days. Never having camped before, John researched by watching old television shows and noticed that the common denominator in camping is someone playing guitar by the fire. We got one of our volunteers to give him some lessons on a donated guitar and he practiced hard. Even though his guitar was lost by the airline on the way, the humanitarian organization had an extra and he led the nightly campfire sing-a-longs.
John has come a long way in the year that he has been at Covenant House Vancouver. Gone is the John who could barely look up when speaking and arriving is a more confident, gainfully employed young man with a bright future in computer engineering.
Congratulations to him for all his hard work!
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