Preparing for independence
Only 18, Rachel’s endured more hardships than others three times her age. Born in a third-world country, she’s survived three wars. After the death of her mother, Rachel stepped up to raise her siblings – she was 8. For years, she looked over her shoulder and relinquished her own needs … and then, she and her siblings received a chance at life in the United States.
But acclimating to America was tough – Rachel didn’t know the language, the culture, the family norms. While struggling to find acceptance, she found rejection.
“I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know where to go,” Rachel says. “I was scared.” And then she found Children’s Home Society of Florida.
Now, she says, “I feel saved. I have more peace than I’ve ever had in my life.”
While Rachel completes high school, we provide a safe apartment with low rent so she can focus on her studies and pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. We also help her find and apply for scholarships to help with rent, and she learns life skills necessary for independence and self-sufficiency, such as paying bills on time and grocery shopping on a budget.
“People really care about me here,” Rachel explains.
For the first time in her life, Rachel feels safe. Each day, she learns to be a bit braver. Because of the security, guidance and encouragement she receives daily, she finally feels hope. She believes she can accomplish her goals, possibly even dream a little more.