Since its founding in 1968, Eagle Village has helped thousands of kids and families overcome abuse, neglect, behavior issues, and attitude problems. Recently, one of those kids found her own success after coming to Eagle Village with low self-esteem, no plan for her life, and a strong dislike for school. Now, however, she dreams of a bright and positive future.
Life Before Eagle Village
Before Becca came to Eagle Village, her family moved around a lot. Her parents brought her and her siblings from place to place with different roommates and living situations.
“We were in bad neighborhoods all the time, just anywhere that was cheap,” she said. The frequent moves meant she missed a lot of school, which she didn’t like anyway. CPS was soon involved. “I was one of those kids that stayed out all day, all night. I didn’t really come home until late, late, late.”
One night, while they were living with an aunt’s friend, the roommates in the upper level of the home got into an altercation and the police were called. With a warrant for arrest out on both of Becca’s parents, she and her siblings were removed and Becca was brought to Eagle Village.
“I wasn’t sure about it, I mean… what if this place doesn’t help me?”
With fears of what could happen next, Becca started her residential program.
“I would say due to her family situation and her circumstances, she was… she pretty much had a low self-esteem when she came into the program,” said Micaela Chappelle, Becca’s Family Therapist at Eagle Village. “Becca was unsure of who she was.”
Becca calls herself “very determined” though, and proved it as she got to work. She advanced through the levels of the Passages Program, the residential program at Eagle Village designed for teens preparing for independence. This meant participating in group activities, therapy, learning life skills, and attending school daily, something she was surprised to find she enjoyed.
“I really like to learn. Before I came to Eagle Village, I didn’t. I didn’t even like school. Now… I need the books. I need to know all of this.”
Becca became a leader in her house and took on peer coaching as she learned how to develop and maintain positive peer relationships. She also became an intern at the Eagle Village Administration Office, helping out however she could with a smile and professional attitude.
“Instead of a negative mindset, I’ve gained a positive one,” Becca said. Reflecting on where she would be without Eagle Village she said she would not have been in school and would probably be maintaining the life she had before. “It’s not ok, but I’ve grown from it.”
Continuing Her Success
Becca has now graduated from high school and the Eagle Village program. She plans to continue her education, first with Cosmetology School. After getting licensed she wants to work as much as she can so she can pay her way through college to get a degree in therapy or social work.
Her desire to help others starts with the kids at Eagle Village she is leaving behind. “They need lots of help still. Some of them don’t open up the door to get the help, to receive it, because whatever happened in their past is scaring them, making them not want to open up the door.” She hopes, however, that through her own experiences she will be able to help kids just like them find their own success someday.
Listen to Becca share part of her story here: