From a Homeless Shelter to Temple Board Member
S had been a successful businesswoman until a very severe depression left her homeless and suffering from malnutrition because she was not eating. She had lost her home and many of her possessions. JFS initially provided some emergency funds to assist her in day to day living. She began a relationship with a JFS therapist and came every week for therapy. With the assistance of her therapist, she rebuilt her life. S is now working, has had some photography shows, (she is a very talented photographer) and is now active in her Temple and on their board.
R was referred to JFS when he was in 6th grade. This year, he is graduating high school. He is a high functioning, autistic student. He struggled with social skills, impulse control and anger management. When R had first begun being seen by JFS, the school he attended was not sure what his future was going to be. They worried about if he was going to able to finish junior high school and had no idea how he was going to make it through high school. As his School Therapist, I attended many meetings concerning R. With time, patients and a lot of hard work R found his way. He promoted from his junior high to high school. In high school, R had a few bumps in the road, but made it through. With continued support from JFS, I am happy to report that R is graduating high school. He has friends and enjoyed his senior class activities. He will be attending Moorpark Community College in the fall and is looking forward to a bright future. As R’s School Therapist, I look at his growth with much pride. R has worked hard and I know he will be a positive influence in the world.
S was referred to JFS her sophomore year. She was depressed and unmotivated. She was failing most of her classes. S struggled with low-self esteem and making friendship connections. Many times during her sessions, S would discuss feeling lost and overwhelmed. S and I worked hard developing trust. Over time, S began building her confidence. She and I spent many sessions helping S find her motivations. She began planning a future and taking steps toward making those goals come true. By her senior year, S had friends, was passing all her classes and had positive plans for her future. During our last session together during her last week of her senior year, S stated she had something important to tell me. She then explained that she had a plan to kill herself on her 18th birthday which had occurred last week. She then went on to say that she never imagined having a future and was now shocked at how much she was looking forward to her life adventures that were about to begin. S checks in with me now and then to let me know how her life is going. During our last conversation, she was sharing how she was getting ready to transfer from a community college to a four year college. She was not sure what degree she was going to pursue, but she knows it will be working with kids and hopefully helping them the way JFS helped her.
Jennifer Kopczynski MFT