Wind Client and Vista del Lago Class of 2017 graduate
“If you told me at the beginning of 9th grade–heck, even at the start of 12th, that I’d make it this far, I’d have laughed at the absurdity of your faith in me. There was always this timer in my head. “You won’t live to be 18,” it ticked. When that milestone passed, “you won’t live to graduate” was the next whisper. But here I am, diploma in hand and college classes upcoming. I don’t think I would have made it without the support of Wind Youth. Throughout most of high school, I had nowhere to call home. You probably couldn’t tell, as I was always that one kid who cheered and smiled and had a seemingly endless reserve of positive energy. But after the last bell rung, that changed; I went back to people who abused me or neglected me, try hard as I might to prove I was worth being in their family. Midway through 12th grade, I found myself not only homeless, but houseless–and it was here I was informed Wind Youth had a bed open. And for the last four months, I’ve had a home, with people who care about me and want me to succeed, who support me through my struggles and love me for who I am. As I look to the future, college and jobs and an apartment, I find myself not scoffing at such impossible dreams, but planning and looking forward to them.”
My name is Gemma Gabbett, and Wind Youth both saved my life and helped make it worth living.