JESUS' STORY 

Nowhere to Go but Up

At 18, Jesus found himself in state custody as a juvenile offender. He was alone and didn’t know where else to go. Jesus was soon referred to our Pathways Transitional Living Program (TLP) in Wichita, Kansas. The Pathways Transitional Living Program is tailored to meet the needs of young adults who might need additional support as they reintegrate back into the community.

 We offer a lot more than a place for transitional aged youth to live. We offer a team of trauma informed experts to guide the youth through the obstacles of daily life. We offer individualized case management for the youth to reach their unique goals.  Most of all we offer hope and a safe home for the youth to grow into independence,” says Lauren Collins, program manager at the Cornerstones of Care – Pathways Wichita location.

 At first, Jesus faced obstacles such as being withdrawn to others socially, lacking money management skills and was hesitant to trust others – particularly other adults. Through the Pathways Living program, Jesus was able to participate in a weekly independent living skill groups and grow in areas such as personal finance, fitness and nutrition, as well as job management. Jesus also showed interest in wanting to go to college, but didn’t know where to begin.  

 Our Pathways Living team were able to connect him with Gear Up!, an educational success program through the U.S. Department of Education that is funded by Wichita State University. Gear Up! visited with Jesus on a weekly basis to help him complete his college application and FASFA to receive financial aid.

 In just over two years, Jesus’ life went from a lot of uncertainty to being a husband, father, full-time employee and aspiring student. “Pathways has equipped me with the supplies and resources I needed to progress from a youth to an adult and to live as a productive individual…”says Jesus.

 Jesus is married and enjoys “daddy duty” with his infant son, while maintaining his full-time job at a local car dealership. And Jesus is now enrolled in the Aerospace Engineering program at Wichita State University. Collins says “It's been a true delight to witness Jesus transition into the considerate, reliable, mature, responsible husband and father he is today. It is always wonderful to be part of a happy ending!

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