Sarah Giles Youth Wraparound Support Partner, Washington County 971.275.5450l  

Sarah Giles
Youth Wraparound Support Partner, Washington County

Sarah grew up in Davis, California in a relatively privileged environment, with her hard-working father and amazing stay-at-home mom. At eleven years old, Sarah's family noticed that she was lashing out, and decided to take her to therapy for anger management. By age thirteen, her anger was under control, but she was still struggling academically. In high school, Sarah found comfort in the drama department and her work with the kids at her church. Despite her academic challenges, she was able to graduate from high school in 2007.

After high school, Sarah moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon, but after only one term, it had become clear that it wasn’t the right place for her. She slipped into a depressive episode, started using food as a negative coping mechanism, and even contemplated suicide. She moved home and struggled with feelings of failure and hopelessness. To her, failing at school was the same as failing at life. She started taking medication for her depression and anxiety and began working with an amazing therapist. She enrolled in a community college and worked with junior high school students through her church. She found her work with youth to be both fun and incredibly rewarding.

In 2011, Sarah moved to Portland to attend Portland State University. Shortly after, her parents divorced after twenty-nine years of marriage. The divorce was especially hard on Sarah, and she returned to unhealthy behaviors like compulsive overeating to cope. She experienced a months-long depressive episode and eventually realized that she needed to make a significant change. She found an inpatient dual-diagnosis center in Arizona and with the support of her family, decided to move there for five weeks. While in Arizona, Sarah learned that she has Bipolar II, ADHD, and Phonological Dyslexia in addition to depression and anxiety. During her time there, she also came out as a queer woman. Her experience was life-changing, and she returned feeling like she finally had the support she needed to lead a happy and healthy life.

Sarah graduated from Portland State University with an Arts and Letters degree, after attending college on and off for eight years. She now lives with her miniature dachshund named "Noodle" and black cat named "Nox." In her free time, she likes to travel to Disneyland, shop for cute plus size clothes and reread Harry Potter.