She was robbed of her childhood. Now, “I don’t want another child to suffer”

san diego center for children stories

Instead of bitter, Yvette’s horrific childhood has made her determined to be a voice for children who have no voice.

Yvette’s own story reads like a disturbing news exposé— an abusive alcoholic step-father who was in and out of jail, a physically and verbally abusive mother who couldn’t cope with having four children under age 7, and finally placement in foster care for protection from a horrible home situation that was beyond comprehension.

By age 9, Yvette’s desperate cry for help had her bouncing from foster home to foster home until she aged out of the system at 18. That life-changing moment shifted her focus in life to helping children like her.

Instead of bitter, Yvette’s horrific childhood has made her determined to be a voice for children who have no voice; she enrolled in college to prepare for making this her life’s work. “I’ve gone through so much and I cannot stop here,” she vows. “It would be a waste to throw all these bad experiences away. Instead, I want to help children through situations like mine and do all I can to keep another child from being a victim.”

Today, Yvette does that in her position as Youth Partner at the Center. In this role, she helps youth navigate through the system of care for optimal benefit. She also serves as the youth’s advocate, mentor and behavior coach, with the goal of helping them meet their treatment and life goals.

Each day at the Center for Children, Yvette has the opportunity to give hope to children who suffer from behavioral and mental health problems — and show them that they, too, can have a positive and productive future. She talks from experience, and is proof positive that anyone can let experiences hold you back, or he or she can turn these situations into stepping stones to a positive, productive future that centers on becoming all that one can be.

Many of our children come from loving homes, but others have known the kind of trauma that Yvette experienced. Thanks to your generosity, the Center for Children is there, standing beside them to give them help for today’s challenges and hope for a positive future.