A Study in Success
New Day is dedicated to changing the lives of children for the better. Here are just a couple of our kids' stories.
"Till this day my greatest accomplishments are owed to all the wonderful people I met during my time with the New Day transitional living program.
After a time of distress and hardships I found comfort with people who understood and cared for my wellbeing. I was seventeen years old when I was accepted into the program. Unsure of what the future had in store for me I keep an open mind and an open heart to the advice given to me by my mentor, peers, and new day staff members. I listened and became aware of the different struggles they had faced. I was inspired and truly moved by all those who reached out to me at a time where I felt so lost. Feeling incomplete and worthless I took charge of my life and decided to never look back but continue to move forward. All the encouragement and the love I felt during my stay has made me the person I am proud to be today. I now understand that I matter and I am worth more than I can ever possibly imagine.
Now, nineteen I am living in Phoenix, Arizona currently working part time and a nursing student, set to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in three years. I give back to my community by volunteering four hours a week at Thunderbird Hospital and by being a student mentor at a local elementary school. Since leaving New Day I have grown as a person, discovered my own unique meaning to life, and found my passion. Every day I am thankful for choosing life, and embrace every opportunity I get to share my experiences with others in hope that they too will see how much they truly matter. Acknowledge your potential and live life to its fullest."
Rabbit is 16 years old, going to be a sophomore and has been taking care of himself since he was 8. Rabbit moved out of his mother’s house in Memphis b/c of the surroundings to move in with his father in Albuquerque. Shortly after moving here his father abandon him and he moved in with his Uncle who later took him out of school. From there he couch surfed with friends until finally he ended up a New Day.
New Day is now his family. Reggie Bush is his idol and if his football career does not work out Rabbit wants to be an accountant. Rabbit learned early that RESPECT is the name of the game at New Day. He said “If you treat the staff with respect they will treat you with respect.” The youth care workers at New Day love working with Rabbit. He always goes above the call of duty and has been a good role model to the rest of the kids.
If Rabbit could change one thing about his life he would have his two younger sisters by his side.
If he had one thing to say to any of us it’s this:
“Do not assume anything in life. That would make an ass out of you and me. Not all of the kids at New Day are bad. We need support to do good things to get our minds off of bad things and good things are not free.”
My name is Jeremiah. I came to New Day because I got in a fight with my little brother, but I didn’t mean to hurt him. I was just too involved in drugs. I started using when I was 12. I used weed, cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy. I got the drugs from my older brother, who has been using for a long time. The drugs really messed up my life.
For awhile I was doing very good in school. I was getting A’s and B’s and was playing basketball. I was pretty good at basketball, especially because I was big. Once I started using drugs things fell apart. My grades slipped, and I eventually quit basketball. Things kept getting worse, until I eventually ended up here.
My hero is my mom. She has seen me through some really hard times. I don’t see my dad, because he is hooked on cocaine and he causes my mom trouble. My mom is really a strong person, and I would like to be strong like her someday. She can also be pretty cool because she laughs.
I like it here at New Day. They treat you nice here. Even though the kids are only here for a short while, it feels like a home that you could stay at. They treat you like you really are someone. I am not using drugs, though sometimes I would like to. If I was really tempted, I don’t think I could say no so it is good for me not to be around drugs now. I have goals for the future. I would like to get a diploma and earn a trade, either in engineering or in accounting. Eventually I would like to have money in my pocket, a job,a car, a house and a diploma. I would also like a girlfriend. I think I will get there because I am a nice guy and a hard worker.
If I was giving advice to new kids coming to New Day, I would tell them this is a fun place. You get to go on field trips and do other fun things. The key is to listen to the rules and to be honest and someone who can be trusted. I would like to give a message to adults out there. Please don’t judge me, and don’t assume you know me. You haven’t met me. I am not a bad kid. I am just trying to figure things out.
My name is Reana, and the story of my life is not filled with Barbie dolls and tea parties with my stuffed animals, the family dog named Lucky, or family vacations to Disney Land or Hawaii. I entered into a world of South Side gangs, drug addicts, dealers, fist fights, alcoholics, rape, family disorder and foster homes.
I am a person; a person who grew up idolizing my brother selling drugs on the street corner making the big money, hating my abusive hypocritical father, smoking weed, getting drunk and sniffing coke all by the time I was 10 years old thinking everybody’s life was like this.
From the age of 6 until the age of 10 I was sexually abused, by the age of twelve I beat on some people with brass knuckles to get into a gang, and by the age of 15 I moved back and forth between homes and my family and now I am in a youth shelter for teens called New Day, under the State's protection.
16 years old and life has been anything but easy for me and I’m about to move in with a new family I have never met before. I have a younger sister that looks up to me and I want to give her a proper role-model so I am going to finish school and get my diploma then become a nurse or start my own youth shelter and give back because I have been given so much since I’ve been at the New Day Shelter.
My name is Reana and I want to make something good of myself.