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“I’ve learned to look at things from another’s point of view, and I’ve realized that your past, while it doesn’t have to affect your future, does have an impact on how you act in the present.”

When a child turns 18, it is often expected that they are ready to enter the world of adulthood equipped with the necessary resources and a “village” to help them succeed. For a teen without a support system in place, navigating the challenges that come with adulthood can be daunting. Sometimes those challenges are compounded by past trauma, disability, poverty, and limited access to affordable housing, food, transportation, and technology.

That’s what life was like for Chris before he enrolled in Thornwell’s Transitional Living program. Due to the lack of a support system and his special circumstances with being on the autism spectrum, Chris entered the program needing extra care navigating big life milestones like going to college, getting a job, and managing finances. Because of your immense support, Thornwell’s Transitional Living program sets up young adults like Chris for strong, independent lives by giving them the emotional, practical, and essential life skills they need to begin their next chapter as adults.

Today, Chris is making A’s and B’s as a criminology major at a local technical college. He works full-time at a university dining hall, where he is praised by his supervisors for his work ethic. He’s even learned how to manage his finances, including paying rent and taxes, thanks to personalized training from Thornwell staff. Soon, he will be ready to get his own apartment off-campus and feel confident in navigating public transportation! You help give young people like Chris the ability to dare to dream!

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