I was born into a family who struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse. My mom was in and out of prison and jail. My whole life my dad was very absent and when he decided to show up, it was only because he wanted to see my brother. Not many people while I was growing up wanted me. At a very young age, I started to develop depression and anxiety. At seven years old, my brother and I got put into CPS custody. My brother and I were separated. My anxiety and depression worsened along with my self-worth. In a one-year span of being in CPS custody, I was moved between six different homes. On the National Adoption Day, November 20th, my brother and I were adopted by a very loving family. Every single day God made Himself known but all I ever did was push Him away. Even though I now had a loving family, I still had a void in my heart so I started drinking. This led to pot, to coke, meth, and then heroin. I didn’t realize I needed help until I got sent to jail. Upon release, I entered Springboard to get the help I knew could save my life. Since Springboard, my life has changed in five different ways. My life has changed spiritually because I now know the One who saved my life. The One I can trust and love with all my heart and the one who won’t leave me. Second is emotionally because now I can express how I feel instead of lashing out. Next is socially because now I have boundaries. I know what I can and can’t do. Then we have mentally. My mind is now quiet instead of loud. Finally, physically because I know now what I can do in God. I was put in Springboard because God told me when I was in jail to go. He wanted me to live when I didn’t. God always had my back and that is what Springboard taught me.

-Jena, 17

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