Telling Their Stories

On October 11th, our staff, board members, and donors gathered at the Kellogg Center for our annual Strengthening Families Breakfast. Throughout the program we had several speakers, including two clients, who shared personal stories of how their lives were changed through Highfields’ programs. Mary Jo, a mother, spoke about her journey with her adopted son. Sara, also a mother, spoke on her experience with the Highfields’ Family Reunification Program (FRP) for her daughter.

Mary Jo adopted her son at birth. She came to know Highfields when seeking help for her son, who was experiencing difficulties. Mary Jo was referred to Highfields’ Home-Based Therapist Priscilla Fleming. It was through Priscilla that they were able to get an official diagnosis for her son. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, and in utero exposure. The diagnosis was just one part of the journey though. Mary Jo was able to learn the tools needed to be an effective mother. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to Highfields, it’s staff, and especially Ms. Priscilla for their dedication and commitment to making a positive impact on our lives,” said Mary Jo. Mary Jo is now back in school, and her son is doing better than ever.

Sara is a mother of 6. In 2020, she began having trouble with her daughter who was 13 at the time. She would have uncontrollable fits of anger that would usually result in police intervention. She was eventually placed in a juvenile detention facility for a 9–12-month program. Sara was referred to Highfields to assist with the reunification process. Their FRP team consisted of Highfields’ staff members Janelle Boehler, Theresa Wilson, and Lillian Thomson. Theresa worked closely with Sara and her husband on parenting skills while Janelle and Lillian worked with her daughter on many different therapeutic processes. In addition, they helped Sara with financial services along with resources like food pantries, pet pantries, and school supply donations. “With the support and guidance of our Highfields team, our family is in a better place emotionally, mentally, and financially,” said Sara. Today, Sara’s daughter is doing well in school, she has been able to control her anger and express her emotions in a healthy way.

We are grateful to Mary Jo and Sara for sharing their inspirational stories and helping ensure our work with children and families continues.

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