Ariana is a devoted sister and caregiver to her seven younger siblings. Being from a broken home, Ariana often found herself sleeping on the unfamiliar couches of gracious friends. As a teenager, Ariana was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her mother and of her two sisters also suffer from mental illnesses. After her father passed away she became a secondary parent to her siblings and any hope for a happy home life dissolved.
Ariana found refuge in the LEAD program during the most chaotic time in her life. A friend introduced her to LEAD’s empathetic staff who were dedicated to helping young people deal with mental health and other related challenges. The LEAD offices quickly became a second home for Ariana; a place where she could escape the pressure of co-parenting her young siblings and learn how to make more responsible decisions for her future.
The staff encouraged her to make new personal commitments, redirect her life path, and propel herself towards success. After graduating from the program she wanted to become more involved. She decided to dedicate her life to helping young people. She joined the LEAD’s Board of Members and eventually became the board president. Ariana continued to work with LEAD as the program transitioned to become Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon.
Ariana has become an invaluable part of the Clackamas County peer support services team and is an irreplaceable asset in the YMO community. In addition to her work with YMO, Ariana is also an active member of the Children’s System Advisory Committee (CSAC) for the state of Oregon.
Ariana has already overcome some of life’s biggest obstacles. Despite having had to shoulder the kind of responsibility intended for someone much older, Ariana has admirably committed her life to helping young adults who are struggling with the same problems she’s faced and overcome.
Ariana continues to progress towards her life goal of earning a college degree; studying at Clackamas Community College and planning to attend Portland State University to study Sociology, Political Science, and Psychology. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring Oregon’s beautiful natural landscape, and cozying up with her kitty to enjoy a thrilling Spider-man comic.