I’ll never forget the day my mom decided to call the Youth Services Bureau.

I was 15 years old. It was five days after I got stopped by the police for being intoxicated in public, and two days after having my parents search for me in a forest to bring me home after yet another intoxicated night.

My mom and an educator I was close to at school did not know what to do anymore, so they chose to call the YSB. At the time, I was furious; I didn’t think I needed help. I thought I’d grow out of acting out in class, getting high every lunch and drinking every chance I got.

Getting suspended every second week wasn’t a big deal to me, and talking back to the teachers made me look tough. If I smiled in the halls and pretended everything was okay, my friends wouldn’t judge me.

Little did I know, with the help of a YSB counsellor, I’d overcome the darkest and most traumatizing times in my life. But it wasn’t easy. For the first couple of sessions, I wouldn’t talk unless the educator I was close with was there. I refused to let anyone into my personal life, but after meeting with this counsellor for about two months or so, my walls were starting to break down.

She would bring creative sessions to the table, knowing how hard it was for me to open up. She would make sure that I was comfortable at all times with the subjects that we were talking about. She helped me see a better person in myself, and even in others.

I went from nearly passing with 50s, to graduating with an 84 average. From getting high and drinking every chance I got, to choosing the smart choice of staying sober, for good. With the help of my YSB counsellor, I got a scholarship, which helped me pay for my first year at college, in which I am studying to be a social worker. My counsellor inspired me in so many ways.

So here I am today, working at a daycare, in college and learning how to deal with the emotions that overcome me. It’s a long process, but the positive outcomes so far, are definitely worth the wait!

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