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Success Stories

shannon-j-for-web

“When I was young, my home life was unstable and dysfunctional. Times were hard and my grandmother struggled to make ends meet. I was angry and could not understand why things were so tough. When I arrived at AMIkids, I was determined to make it a nightmare for the teachers and staff. It wasn’t easy, but through it all, the willingness of the staff to continue to support me inspired me to be a better person. AMIkids took in a hurt, lost, and defiant girl and turned me into a successful, confident, phenomenal woman.”

 

Shannon J.

AMIkids National

When I was young, my home life was unstable and dysfunctional. My dad was not around and my mother was struggling with various addictions. I was being raised by my grandmother along with my sister and several of my cousins whose parents were also facing personal challenges.  Times were hard and my grandmother struggled to make ends meet. The challenges of life begin to take a toll on me. I was angry and could not understand why things were so tough. I began to resent my mom, believing that her struggles were the reasons we were living so hard. Eventually my anger began to worsen and manifest itself into behavioral issues. I became disrespectful at home and school and started getting into lots of fights and cutting school.  Ultimately my poor decisions landed me in court and after multiple appearances; the judge sentenced me to attend AMIkids.

When I first began at AMIkids, I was resentful. I was determined to make it a nightmare for the teachers and staff. I was disobedient and I continually challenged authority but the staff at AMIkids refused to give up on me. Time after time they showed me that they were there to lift me up and not tear me down. They exposed me to things outside of my comfort zone and I got to experience traveling to places I’ve never been. My happiness and confidence began to increase, and I started speaking at public events. I even learned how to swim! They challenged me in ways that made me uncomfortable but also made me stronger in the long run. It wasn’t easy, but through it all, the willingness of the staff to continue to support me inspired me to be a better person. The genuine sense of care and trust is what made the difference to me.

AMIkids was an enormous turning point in my life. The staff inspired me to be the change that I wanted to see. They challenged me to be my personal best and the experience changed my life. Since AMIkids, I went on to receive my doctorate and am currently an adjunct professor of education and a high school teacher working with kids with emotional and behavioral disorders. AMIkids took in a hurt, lost, and defiant girl and turned me into a successful, confident, phenomenal woman. 

 

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