The start of a brand new year is a perfect time to celebrate the success of our young people. As they move forward, we are happy to look back and see the amazing progress they have made. This month, we’re focused on Mercia. When Mercia first came to the 360 Youth Services housing program, he said he “had felt worthless.” He was living in his car and was so distraught over his situation, he didn’t want to continue living. It was a hospital that put him in touch with 360 Youth Services.
Things quickly turned around for Mercia. He said for the first time, he felt like he had a family. He found caring people who “showed you what you should or shouldn’t do.” He realized he could make mistakes and people would still care for him. Having been born in the Congo and raised in France, he identified with the Male Transitional Housing Program Manager Damir Djidic because he, too, was from another country. While he was in the program, Mercia worked part time at a near-by car dealership and the 360 staff helped him make decisions that would point him toward a bright future.
Now, six years after he first entered the 360 housing program, Mercia is set to graduate this fall from COD with a degree in architecture and a minor in fine arts; he looks forward to finishing a four-year degree, too. He is working for an international marketing firm in consumer advertising where his multi-lingual skills are a true asset…and that’s where Mercia is now.