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Mar 31, 2016

Changing the Course of my Life

My name is Jeremy. I am 18 years old and currently reside at the Cordero House. Over the past two years that I have lived here, it has become evident to me that there is not a single thing in this life that should be taken for granted. I do my best to approach every day with passion, vigor and love for all things. I love being alive! I know that now. But it was not always that way. Growing up, I lived with my adopted parents and five siblings (three brothers and two sisters). My dad had an amazing job that allowed us to live in a beautiful home, sitting on 6 acres of property, with a panoramic view of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. We had everything that we ever wanted, and more. Although now I can look back and see how privileged I was to live in such a beautiful place, at the time I remained ignorant to the beauty of the world around me. From the outside, my family may have appeared similar to your stereotypical “Partridge Family.” But the things that went on behind closed doors were anything but. I lived in that home until I was 16 years old. I made plenty of mistakes that I now regret with all of my heart, and I damaged the very relationships that meant the most to me. My life had been shattered, and I could not even see that it was by my own doing.

It took three months of being locked up to teach me that life is not a game. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, I learned that the hard way. Try spending three months without seeing the sun or the stars, or without breathing in the fresh spring air. It was probably the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. Those three months truly humbled me and caused me to see life from a much different perspective. When I was presented with the opportunity to go live at the Cordero House, I jumped on it.

Since being at Cordero House, I have learned soooo much. I have made significant strides towards improving my own life, as well as the lives of those that I have hurt. I have become so much more responsible than I was before, I graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA and I have even begun taking online college courses. I also have learned how to play guitar from a few of the staff at my program which has always been a dream of mine. My life has truly taken a turn for the better. I see the goodness inside of people that I once believed did not exist. I have a much brighter outlook on the world than I did before. I feel blessed to live with such stupendous people who truly care about others and that make it their life’s work to help people like me become successful in life. Without the help of Cordero and all of the staff that devote their time there, I don’t think my life would look quite as it does today. I owe so much to them and I truly treasure all of those who have helped me along throughout this journey in my life. I have truly discovered myself, my values, and the role in which I am to play in this world. I have found my purpose in life and I plan to pursue it.

Looking ahead, I will be graduating the program at Cordero in about four months. I will be attending Portland State University this fall. Two years ago, I never even dreamed that this would be a possibility. Through my own hard work and the relentless and compassionate effort of all the staff at Cordero, this has become my reality. I have made plenty of mistakes that I wish that I could take back. But with all of the things that I have learned in my time at Cordero, I can now work hard to overcome my mistakes and be the man that my own parents never thought that I could be. The man that I never thought I could be. Every day is a new adventure, a gift. I see that now. Thank you to all of the wonderful people at Cordero House and Janus Youth Programs that have made all of this possible. You are all truly amazing, I wish that there were more people like you in this world. My time at Cordero House has had a truly profound impact on my life, one that I will never forget. Thank you.

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Nov 16, 2017
Visit The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall & Look for Janus Youth With the Red Dot on Gift Tag

The Sharing Tree at Washington Square Mall is a great way to make sure each of our youth has a gift to open on Christmas morning. Just pick an ornament from the tree located in the Nordstrom wing, near Williams-Sonoma and purchase the item listed on the tag. Return the unwrapped gifts to the Sharing Tree by December 20th so the gifts can be delivered by Christmas. These gifts are distributed to Janus and eight other charities throughout the Portland metro area. Each year, more than 4,500 gifts are given to those in need through the Washington Square Sharing Tree.

Oct 31, 2017
Share the Season of Giving

You can make the holidays bright for Janus children, youth and families. Every gift or donation makes a difference. Click here to complete your donation choice.

Oct 04, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Sina Youssefzadeh

Sina is a passionate advocate for marginalized youth and social justice. Five years ago when he moved to Portland and was involved in grassroots social justice work, he learned about Janus’ work in the community and applied for a Crisis Intake Specialist position at Harry’s Mother, our Runaway Youth Services program. Since then, Sina has continued to help develop a trauma informed approach to the work done within his cohort, build relationships with youth and families and offer referrals to other partnering agencies. We talked to Sina to find out more about what he does in his current position.

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