Before Jenna came to YMO, she suffered immense trauma and had run away from home many times. At thirteen, an older friend introduced her to marijuana and cocaine. By the time she turned fifteen, Jenna had tried thirteen different drugs and meth had become her drug of choice.

At sixteen, Jenna’s mother decided to send her to rehab. After her release, she reentered high school clean and sober.  “For a while there, I was a normal teenage girl, and then the sky turned gray, and the storm came out of nowhere” Jenna recalls, explaining that her newfound sobriety was short-lived; only lasting thirty days. She started spending time with her old friends and eventually started using. She experienced frequent outbursts and expressed anger toward her mother for "locking her up" in rehab.During that same time, she met and started dating her boyfriend, a fellow addict. When asked to describe this time in her life, Jenna explains, "things took a turn for the worse when we met, we were both doing meth, and I wasn't listening to anything my mom had to say. Soon enough, I found myself sneaking out every night just to get high and be with him."

Despite Jenna's challenging childhood and difficult teen years, she managed to turn her life around when she decided to enter a six-month rehab program. “When I look back on where I was back then and where I am now, I know I made the right choice, trading my drug addiction for my family.”

Soon after, Jenna found and started receiving Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon (YMO) Wraparound services. She felt that the Wraparound process helped her identify a clear path forward. She is grateful to have an advocate who makes her feel important. Her youth partner inspired her to advocate for herself and express the concerns she has about the challenges she faces at home with her mom. Through the Wraparound process, she has finally begun to find her voice. She describes feeling empowered by the process saying, “I feel engaged because everyone on my team plays a part in making me feel important. My youth partner makes me feel heard, and I like feeling heard. I will continue to voice my opinions."

Jenna also appreciates having someone she can relate to, who understands where she is coming from: “It's hard to believe how young my youth partner is. When she talks to me, I listen because I know it wasn’t too long ago that she was walking down a path similar to my own. I feel more confident in my choices now, and I find myself having the desire to be a mentor to those around me."

Against all odds, Jenna reconnected with her family and finally got her life back. “The road to being clean and sober may have been hard, but I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I just had to be willing to find it for myself.” Now, she has hope for her future: “I have big dreams for myself. I want to inspire others to realize that just because they make mistakes does not mean it’s too late to make a change. If I can do it and if my youth partner can do it, then so can anyone”. Jenna looks forward to continuing down the right path with her youth partner by her side.

 

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