While most high school students are focused on homework after school, John was consumed by volatile family dynamics. The difficult situation resulted in his moving out of his home and in with an aunt. At the same time, his devoted grandmother found out about the counseling services at 360 Youth Services and connected him with the program.

“I don’t know where I would be without the help,” he says.

Life began to get better as he learned self-control and how to handle his emotions. Prior to counseling, he said he let his emotions get the best of him. Now he knows to step back and think about what he’s going to say before he says it. When he didn’t understand something at school that was frustrating him, he learned to “cool off and count to ten,” rather than immediately becoming angry. Setting boundaries was another area of growth for John. It has helped him with family, at school, and work. Along the way, his self-esteem has been building.

His journey has given him empathy for others and the chance to serve as an example. At a gym class where they were challenged to run the mile, he quickly finished. But, he went back to help a kid who was struggling, running along with him to encourage him to finish, too. While celebrating his high school graduation, John is also looking to the future, where all these valuable skills will come in handy: he is enlisting in the Navy.

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