Youth Spotlight: Cheyenne

Happy Youth Spotlight Friday! This week, we hear directly from Cheyenne, who is a member of the Adolescents Achieving Independence Program in Delaware County.

Per hour counselor, “Cheyenne is in the spotlight due to her remarkable accomplishments and success. Cheyenne states that Valley Youth House has immensely impacted her success by providing encouragement, support, and motivation leading to her accomplishments. Specifically, the AAI Program has helped her obtain employment, find a safe and reliable day care for her daughter, and seek externship opportunities to graduate from Allstate Career School. Overall, Valley Youth House has helped provide Cheyenne with a vision and purpose for her life moving forward after experiencing a dark past.”

In Cheyenne’s own words, “From ages fourteen to eighteen, I was a troubled kid. I was in placement because my father was in jail and my mother didn’t want me. I had no adult support in my life. I was always putting my social life first and never went to school. I was doing drugs and getting high regularly. Finally, my actions caught up to me and I was arrested and put into a detention center for my actions. I was also placed into rehab for my drug and alcohol use.”

While looking into the eyes of her 4 month old daughter, Caia’Marie, with a warm smile, Cheyenne explains how her life was changed: “When I turned seventeen, I began to think about what’s important in life and what isn’t important. I turned eighteen, checked myself out of placement, and moved in with my grandfather. I was just getting my life together at nineteen when I found out I was pregnant. It was not planned but I looked on the bright side of things. My daughter gave me a new outlook on life and what life is about. I knew that I had another life to take care of now and it’s not just myself anymore. Everything I do is for my daughter because I know what it’s like to have a mother who doesn’t care.”

Cheyenne would like her story to inspire other teens who may be dealing with similar challenges and who are in and out of foster care. Her message to those teens is: “Do not let your past define you. Focus on the present and the future. It will be hard but it is possible; keep trying!”