Success Stories

Mrs. J

Prevention & Aftercare Program

It was one thing going wrong after another and Mrs. J, who is married with four kids, was really starting to feel the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her family's car broke down, her husband had gotten laid off and the healthy relationship that she once had with her kids was slipping out of her grasp.  She decided to seek help by walking into Helpline Youth Counseling's Whittier resource center.

There she was able to meet with Rosa Rodriguez, who guided her through HYC's Prevention and Aftercare Program.   Ms. Rodriguez mentioned to Mrs. J that HYC could assist her with enrolling in anger management classes for her and her children.  Ms. Rodriguez helped Mrs. J apply for funds to bring her family up to date on their rent and help purchase school supplies.  Mrs. J was also eligible for a program that provides monthly supplements to purchase nutritious food, promoting healthy eating and self-care.

Mrs. J never thought that walking into HYC's resource center would result in this much help for her and her family. The anger management classes have greatly improved the communication and relationship she has with her children.  Rent is up to date, the kids had a great start at school, and food is on the table for the holidays. Helpline Youth Counseling was able to help this family become self-sufficient again and save some money for the possibility of unforeseen issues. The weight is slowly being lifted off Mrs. J's shoulders this holiday season, all because she took a step to reach out for help from Helpline Youth Counseling.


Homelessness Program

  2015 was the beginning of positive change for Karla, a 38-year-old mother of four. She and her children left her abuser and fled their home due to ongoing domestic violence and constant verbal abuse they were encountering on a daily basis. 

After somewhat getting back on her feet and working for nearly a year, Karla moved to South Gate where she quickly realized she was not going to stay above the poverty line. She had no choice but to move her four children and herself into a tiny garage, which was unlivable-no bathroom and no kitchen.  Then she was referred to Helpline Youth Counseling by the City of South Gate.  HYC was able to assist Karla with housing search and placement services, along with funding for basic household necessities.  Today, Karla lives in a three-bedroom townhouse and she and her children have a safe space to call home. Karla can't wait to decorate and cook meals for her family.  She is looking forward to celebrating the holidays with her loved ones in her new home and is very thankful to Helpline Youth Counseling for helping her family during their tough time. 


School-Based Services

Here is what Samantha, a student in this HYC program, shared with us –

"My name is Samantha. Last year was hard for me, and I began to struggle with family issues at home and on top of that I couldn’t help but feel disconnected from my school. I felt like no one wanted to understand what I was going through. My grades started getting worse because I felt that they didn’t even matter anymore. It wasn’t until I received help from Helpline Youth Counseling, through my counselor, that I really started to feel closer to everyone again. My counselor was able to help me get back on track to creating a closer bond with my family while feeling connected at school again. Finally I can say that my grades are improving, and I even joined my school’s swim team! HYC has really helped me come out of my shell this school year."


Cal SAFE Domestic Violence Program

"My name is Judy, and I am a 33 year-old single mother of three. My home situation with my abuser was getting out of control, causing me and my children to have no choice but to leave our home with little hope in sight. I had no other options but to start living out of my car, going from shelter to shelter and couch surfing with family and friends for months at a time. It wasn’t until my CALWORKS eligibility worker referred me to Helpline Youth Counseling for services that our lives started to feel more safe and stable. That’s when I met Ms. Nunez, who quickly assessed me to participate in Counseling for Abuse-Free Living-Support and Family Education, known as “CAL-SAFE”. With domestic violence being a barrier to my self-sufficiency and ability to take care of my children—this program was able to meet my needs to finally move forward.

With the ongoing help, compassion and dedication of Ms. Nunez, I was able to enroll in meetings and counseling sessions at Helpline Youth Counseling, so that I could get my children and I back on track to a healthier and happier life. I prefer to remain single, living at my own place with my children—away from my abuser and the danger we once faced so often. I’m currently enrolled in the nursing program at Cerritos College and can finally say that I am working towards being self-sufficient again." 


Visions Learning Center

Joseph, a resident of Pico Rivera, originally joined the Visions Learning Center in July 2015 but left the program 3 times before returning again in March 2016. During that time, he was detained on two occasions. But this last entry has shown nothing but positivity and improvement. Joseph is 9 credits away from earning his high school diploma, a year earlier than his grade level! Besides the improvement of quality in his work, which is consistently reflecting a ‘B’ average, his assignments are on time. Thanks to his efforts, Joseph has been recommended for an employment opportunity and is working with LACOE counselors to prepare for his official interview. His real dream is to attend college in fall and is on track to doing so! Joseph says he is ready to avoid negative peer influences and complete high school.

5th Grade Journalists

Youth Services Bureau

Counselor’s story:

“As a YSB counselor, it can be tough sometimes to get kids to participate, so imagine my surprise when a group of my clients asked if they can have another meeting next week, in addition to the already scheduled session. I told the 5th grade girls that I was unable to come another day, but they were more than welcome to meet on their own… and that is exactly what they did! When we met the following week, the 4 young ladies came into group with a journal in hand. When the young ladies met last week, they decided to start journals together and wanted to get the other clients to participate as well. Now, I am able to read the wonderful insight and progress while they enjoy their newfound friendships. This bond is particularly special since these girls did not have much contact with one another before. I truly believe this group will continue to support and encourage each other, even after this group end in April.”


Substance Abuse Services

After 5 years in an abusive relationship, Courtney found herself experiencing low self-esteem, difficulty in establishing trust as well as educational and financial setbacks. Her support system was minimal, as it had already deteriorated because of her unhealthy relationship. Courtney did find a support system through HYC in the Cal SAFE program. The program can be difficult, often painful, as these women participate in individual and family counseling, domestic violence education and life skills training. However, one year later, Courtney was able to live in an entirely new mindset. She had finally gained insight on her last relationship and also learned how to identify the red flags in prospective partners. Her self-esteem has gone up and she actively participates in group discussions. Courtney has proven to be an inspiration to the other group members and she explains that they do the same.

Courtney has been able to heal and is now in a healthy and supportive relationship. She works stable part-time jobs tutoring children, which not only helps her support herself and her two children, but also enables her to give back to the community…. All while going to school for her Bachelor’s degree and continuing her participation in the Cal SAFE program.


Visions Learning Center

Paul, a resident of La Mirada, entered the VLC program in fall due to academic deficiencies. Paul was experiencing an unstable home environment and insufficient guidance. Despite this lack of structure, Paul has shown incredible commitment to his programs, he was the only student who worked on his after-school credit recovery over the winter break. Paul comes to class daily and is on time, he is always finishing his work and actively participates in classroom and counseling programs. Paul is expected to complete the program and return to his district on track in spring.


Mentoring Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Kayla is 19 years old and lives with her mother and 9 siblings. Her father left at a young age and her mother is often not around, leaving Kayla to fend for herself. Due to this lack of familial support and a slight learning disability, Kayla never completed high school. Now, despite these challenges, she is working hard towards her G.E.D. and eventually, a nursing career. In addition to the one-on-one mentoring and help in completing the G.E.D. requirements, HYC is helping Kayla every day in obtaining her independence.  


Visions Learning Center

“My name is Andrew and I am 14 years old, living in Pico Rivera. During my last semester of middle school, I got expelled, and had to finish my classes at the VLC program. The classes were harder because I was having to keep up with high school level material, but I really wanted to go back to my friends in high school. I studied a lot more and participated in counseling, but after that spring/summer, I completed all of the classes and can go to the same high school as my friends.”


Cal SAFE Domestic Violence Program

“I am a Survivor of Domestic Violence. My ex-husband of 17 years tried to kill me, and before I received counseling, I was confused. I felt like I was in this horrible nightmare until I started my DV counseling. As I sat in group and listened to the ladies’ stories, they were all similar to what I was going through. The men all sounded like my ex-husband using mind games, threats and then complete abandonment of both the kids and I when he realized I was done.

I accessed help, used the protective order I had for zero contact and followed the rules. He made a few attempts to test me, but I called his probation officer, and put a stop to it. I was able to get my divorce, but it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of false accusations against me throughout the process and it took me 2 and a half years, but it was finalized in August.

I went back to school for Medical Billing and Coding, got certified and graduated in February. I am currently searching for a full time job and look forward to being able to sustain myself and my kids on my own. Thanks to group I have learned so many coping skills and appreciate being able to share my stories without feeling shame or judgement. I appreciate that when I am dealing with a certain situation, I usually get positive advice on how to handle it from group. It is empowering to hear about the other ladies’ stories and how they are continuing their education or career and moving forward.”


Substance Abuse Services

“My name is Hector, and I am a 28 year old from Whittier. My family was tired of it, and nothing in my life was going as planned, so last May, I decided it was time to do something about my battle against methamphetamine. My participation in the TSP program was a slow start, I was always making up excuses as to why I couldn’t make it to groups or appointments. Thanks to my mother’s support, I realized that to see a difference, I needed to make some changes. I started going to counseling more often and the more I went, the better the results. This is not to say it was easy, I struggled with the constant calling. I fought back with more support and decided to join the Aftercare program as well. I just provided my third consecutive negative UA test and although my success is recent, each step puts me that much closer to recovery.”



Counselor’s Story:

“I had a high school client who was also a young mother, her name was Brittany. Not only was she struggling with school and her child’s behavior, but Brittany also had a lot of bad influences in her life. First, we focused on her child’s behavior, which was improved by structure. Brittany got into a daily routine that not only improved her baby’s temperament, but helped Brittany improve in the classroom. She was turning in assignments and focused on graduating. While those two areas have shown improvement, it was difficult for Brittany to realize that she was still in danger of losing her baby or worse, putting her child in danger. Although Brittany wasn’t participating in anything illegal, she was still in a bad atmosphere and putting herself in risky situations. Now, her goal is to weed out these negative influences through self-control and taking on more of a motherly role. Brittany wants a bright future for her baby, but that includes working towards her own bright future as well.”


Prevention & Aftercare / Long Beach Advocates for Change

 “Ari was a client who came from troubled parents. Since her childhood, her parents had been abusing drugs and going in and out of homelessness, so Ari found refuge in her grandparents for many years. However, Ari eventually became homeless herself, living on the streets and in shelters for 5 years. During this time, she was deprived of food and rest which led to depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and loneliness. Ari was hurting, physically and emotionally. In July, 2015 Ari found hope. She was referred to HYC through “My Sister’s Keeper” program. To this day, Ari receives counseling from HYC and has even become an active member of Long Beach Advocates for Change, a group of community members who work to end violence in Long Beach. Ari was finally approved for housing assistance in May 2016, she had been applying since 1999. With the help of her PAS-Case Navigator and the Pfaffinger Foundation, Ari lives in a duplex, a savings account and is on her way to self-sufficiency. Her counseling at HYC has proven that Ari is resilient and that she can overcome negative pulls. She has learned how to seek resources while continuing to utilize the personal and emotional support that she has found in our agency and through Long Beach Advocates for Change.”


Substance Abuse Services

“My name is Johnson and I am 16 year old from Whittier. I joined TSP after already doing really well with my probation officer. I have been substance free ever since, and even though I don’t have to, I still come the groups and appointments. I appreciate the support and feel stronger attending, even if it does take 2 buses to get there.”


Gang Alternatives Program

Counselor’s Story:

“Last May, we had two guest speakers who spoke to two of our groups about the dangers and trouble that can arise from being involved with gangs and drugs. Although there were 17 clients who attended, listened attentively and participated in the Q&A segment, there was one client who took it a step further. His name was Shawn, and he brought up a good question, asking how to deal with these pressures when they are coming from family members. The speakers gave sound advice, but after the discussions, Shawn was eager to talk further. He asked one of the presenters to be his mentor and to help him avoid the gang influences in his life. Both speakers gave their number to Shawn, who was happy to report a few weeks later that he was also receiving help and support from his grandma. His grandma said she was very proud of Shawn for taking proactive steps towards a brighter future.”

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