Feature Story

J.D. is a 15-year-old boy who has been visiting our Community Youth Center in Manville for over two years. When he started attending our program, we noticed that he struggled with self-esteem and peer relationships. Our caring staff formed a trusting relationship with him, and soon they discovered that J.D.’s struggles developed due to a difficult home situation. Both of his parents struggled with substance abuse, and one of his parents was battling a chronic illness.

On several occasions, J.D. confided in staff that he used Middle Earth as an escape from his challenges at home and that Middle Earth was one of the only positive things he looked forward to while his parents struggled with their health problems. J.D. is not the only youth who feels this way. Our Centers become a “home away from home” and support network for many youth, especially for those who face life challenges.

Since joining Middle Earth, J.D. has developed positive relationships with staff, has become good friends with other regular program participants with whom he often attends other school events, and the treatment of his parent’s chronic illness has been successful! J.D. feels much more confident and content, and he continues to attend the center and rely on his Middle Earth relationships to obtain support and guidance towards positive activities and decisions.

The support of our donors makes these life changes possible! J.D. could have taken a lot of different paths to cope with his difficult life circumstances, but Middle Earth’s programs intervened and set him on a positive course forward.