Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Youth

With a group of writers and editors, I've been working on a public service journalism project aimed at improving the lives of area children. Here are some teens I met through Rare Breed Youth Services.

Michael Housley feels his baby kick in the belly of his girlfriend, Sonserae Wilder, with their 9-month-old, DeShealyn, between them at Rare Breed Youth Services on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Wilder and Housley are both 19 years old and have been on their own--homeless, couch surfing, and staying in shelters--since they were 16.

Wilder said she was miserable in foster care and has been working hard to make sure her daughter's needs are met to keep the family intact.

Victoria Stokes, 19, also grew up in the foster care system. After running away at 17, she couch surfed until she found "the Breed" and got into their transitional living program. Now she has her own apartment and takes classes at Ozarks Technical Community College.

Victoria says she is happiest at home with her cat, Simba (a female, with a boy's name, she'd like me to point out.)

1 comment:

Beth Suda said...

These are beautiful Val. A really interesting project with a lot of heart behind it. I like it.