In the middle of her junior year at Seguin High School, Nakya found herself homeless and in need of a safe place to stay. She had courageously left behind a home of family abuse and instead chose to live with a friend in a more stable environment. Nakya’s choice to begin counseling sessions with Ms. Bethany, the CIS of South Central Texas Site Coordinator on campus, turned out to be equally monumental.
“Ms. Bethany was ‘amazing’,” said Nakya, fondly describing the relationship she had built with a caring adult as one that had previously been missing in her life. “It was the first time that I had someone I could confide in, someone who listened, and didn’t judge me. She was understanding and gave the kind of feedback and advice that kept me going during a difficult time.”
Nakya’s mounting struggles made her feel like giving up. She was homeless and working to support herself. She wanted to graduate high school but did not see college as an option. That changed with the support of CIS, and Nakya began to see herself as college material. During counseling sessions, she began to realize that if she stayed focused on school, it would give her a future.
During her senior year, Nakya was invited to participate in CIS’s Project Success program. The program helped her discover that her good grades meant she could go on to college. She realized that she was not alone in her journey, and that there were other students just like her trying to make a better future for themselves. It made the day she was accepted to Tarleton State University all the more incredible. Going away to college meant that she would have housing, a meal plan, and would no longer be homeless. College meant that she was now in charge of her life and her future.
After graduation from Seguin High, Nakya participated in CIS’s Summer Life Bootcamp program. Bootcamp helped her discover that her life story was one of triumph, not defeat, that she could overcome and that she was a survivor. During Bootcamp she created positive relationships with other campers and CIS alumni. Through shared stories, counseling, two wilderness camping trips, and leadership and team building activities, Nakya gained the confidence she needed to be successful at Tarleton.
Thanks to the CIS relationship she cultivated, Nakya feels like there will always be someone available to listen. This past fall, she began her freshman year at Tarleton State as a business major. And she has a CIS Alumni mentor who provides ongoing support and encouragement. When asked to describe CIS Nakya said, “CIS cares about their students and alumni. They help us go through the process of healing so we can be successful in life.”
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