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Finding Hope Beyond Home

Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County
Basic Needs

When she was a child, Christine’s father operated a meth lab in their home which lead to health problems. Through CIS, she found the health resources and self-motivation to overcome her home situation and get into college.

Two years ago, Christine Thompson was at the nurse’s office in Azle High School in Azle, Texas, holding back tears. Her father had passed away from a drug overdose a few months ago, her mother was just arrested for drug possession and the teenager felt hopeless. 

As a child, Christine lived with her father, who operated a meth lab in their home.

“I was always sick when I was younger,” she recalled. “I remember it being hard to breathe, and we later found that I had scar tissue on the inside of my lungs. Doctors told me it was from breathing in the fumes of the drugs. There were random people in our house all the time, and my dad would leave me and my older brother alone while he was dealing drugs.”

Christine moved in with her mother when she was nine, bolstered by promises that life would get better. But it didn’t. And at 16, Christine found herself in the nurse’s office with no idea what to do. That’s when she met Noël Haas, a Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County site coordinator.

Haas made sure that Christine had everything she needed to overcome her circumstances, including clothing, school supplies, food and even rides to and from school. She provided continuous encouragement to enhance Christine’s self-esteem and self-image, assisted with homework when needed and helped her complete college applications. But most importantly, the site coordinator made sure Christine had someone to talk with about the problems she faced throughout her journey.

“Ms. Haas has taught me a lot about having self-motivation and finding the positives in negative situations,” Christine said. “I can always come to her with anything. I feel that I now have a positive outlook on life, better communication with everyone and more self-esteem.”

Now 18, Christine’s home life and outlook on her future have improved. She lives with her stepfather and little brother, and is on the student advisory council for Communities In Schools at Azle High School. In this group, Christine helps with organizing community service activities while acting as a role model to the underclassmen in the Communities In Schools program. She recently helped organize a canned goods drive, a coat drive and a toothbrush drive.

“She’s active in helping Communities In Schools in any way she can,” Haas said.

Christine is also getting ready to be the first person in her family to go to college. Haas helped the young woman go on college campus tours and to apply for financial aid and scholarships. 

“She was able to overcome so many obstacles and barriers to get to this point,” Haas said. “I am so very proud of her!”

This past January, Christine received a letter from Lubbock Christian University, her first choice of colleges. She was accepted into its nursing program and will begin in the fall

“With all the problems I was having, I knew I didn’t want my life to be like that forever,” Christine said. “The experiences I had growing up took me down the career path of nursing. It was something my mother always wanted to achieve but never could. Now I feel like my dreams are coming true."

In Texas