"One day, a teen client I was working with, who had been in a string of abusive relationships and endured other traumas throughout her life, asked if she could share something with me. I agreed, and she proceeded to read a rap she had written about the traumatic experiences she’d faced. I was truly blown away by the emotion contained within the words on the page," explains Vendor Service Provider, Mackenzie Harding.
This young woman, who struggled to manage her emotions and used to lash out physically, now uses writing as a way to cope. It has become a meaningful and constructive outlet for expressing her emotions. Writing is a form of therapy for her; it helps her work through the trauma she has endured.
"She told me that she had never rapped for anyone before, but she had been writing for years. I asked her to turn the anger, resentment, and bad language into writing that could be read to foster children who are going through similar experiences. She struggled at first, but finally grasped it," said Harding.
With the help of skill-building support services she receives through the Vendor Services Program, the client has grown into a strong, happy and independent young adult. She has learned to respect herself and is working hard to build trusting, healthy relationships.
The young woman has also developed the skills needed to live independently, including managing a bank account, paying bills, creating a personal budget, and bargain-hunting when shopping for groceries and household items. She is currently in her second year at a local community college, where she is working on a two-year degree in Human Services Administration. Her goal is to attend Buffalo State College to obtain her Bachelor’s degree, and then look for an apartment of her own. She hopes to one day inspire at-risk youth nationwide through her writing, and is looking forward to a future filled with helping others and achieving her dreams.