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Nov 14, 2016

With Support Comes A New Life

For most of his life, 18 year old Adam Ramey didn’t like adults. Growing up in a family where he experienced domestic violence, he never had anyone that he could depend on. After brief stays at a shelter and a foster home, at age 13 he arrived at Cordero—one of our residential services—a scared, angry teen who pushed people away. Having felt betrayed and abandoned for years, Adam remained angry and aloof. The Cordero staff kept trying to communicate with him saying, “we’re here for you.” Says Adam, “first I thought that was ridiculous, you don’t even know me. But there was one person who persisted and I believed her sincerity and began opening up. Thanks to the Cordero staff, I was able to become the person I am today. They helped keep me sane.” It took a few months, but gradually Adam realized that there really were people who cared for him. He soon developed close relationships with staff and peers.

That was the first step Adam took toward his path of healing, but there was still a big hurdle he had to overcome: lying about his past. Because his childhood was so traumatic, he says he blocked out much of it from his memory, including some things he did that hurt others. After a year and a half of telling lies, he finally told the truth and took accountability for his actions. “No one wants to talk about things they did wrong,” says Adam. To his surprise, the Cordero staff accepted him and supported his process of making positive changes in his life.

Along with a supportive staff, Cordero provided Adam the structure necessary for his change. “Before Cordero, I got a 0.6 GPA in my eighth grade science class. I went to school high, hung out with girls off campus and skipped class,” said Adam. But going to high school within the Cordero residence without the distractions he previously experienced in high school, Adam could focus on school work in a new way. He found new interests and started writing poetry and music lyrics. Last June he graduated with a 3.6 grade point average. His long term goal is to go to Portland State University to study music. He discovered his passion for music at Cordero. “Every summer we had a luau and I performed along with other peers for two years. It was such a great event,” says Adam.

Adam graduates from Cordero soon to begin his new life full of hope and gratitude. Says Adam, “without Janus and the supportive staff at Cordero, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have the same goals, I wouldn’t love people. I would still be an angry kid.” 

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May 22, 2017
Scholarships Awarded To Our Youth

On May 17th, the Janus Board of Directors, staff and community members honored 15 youth in our programs who were recipients of our scholarship awards. Now in its sixteenth year, the scholarships open the door to education for our youth by helping to pay for school expenses such as tuition, books and rent.

This year’s scholarship recipients are from an array of Janus programs including Insights Teen Parent Program, Imani House, Changes, Annex I, Harry’s Mother and Hope Partnership. Special thanks to Robert Gootee and Moda Health for their support in launching the Scholarship Fund in 2001 and to Joanne Senders—a generous donor who established the Joanne Senders Scholarship Fund.  

Photo: Left to right: Jeremy Ericksen, Thomas Spisla, Christian Ford, Griffin Thomas, Robert Gootee, Gustavo Portillo-Soto, Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow and Dalon Murray. Not pictured: Alejandra Hernandez, Nicholas Schafer, Elishah Eduardo Asbaugh, Johnathan Baker, Cayce French, Robert Miller, Agustin Estrada-Vargas, Ezequiel Vasquez, and Bailey Allman.

May 08, 2017
Youth Voices—In Their Own Words

My experience at Cordero House was one of the most significant events to have happened to me. Let me start with a background of who I am. I came from a small village in the countryside of El Salvador. At a young age, I learned to be independent, going to school and helping with the daily chores. I moved to the city for a very brief moment before flying to the U.S. At first, I felt strange and overwhelmed with everyone and everything around me. As time went by, I found myself in a state of confusion. Alone, I had no one to turn to ask for help. Instead, I did things that to this day I regret. Such events led to me spending time in a youth corrections facility.

May 01, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Angie Corll

Angie knows what it feels like to run away. She did it for years, running away from abusive and neglectful homes, opting for freedom and danger of the streets over security. This life on the run led her down many dark paths for years until she became the kid that no one wanted to take in. Finally, in 1993, with the help of her probation officer, she entered a Janus residential program. That was a turning point. Says Angie, “I was blessed to have been given a second chance.” Now she works as a Youth Care Specialist at our Oak Grove shelter in SW Washington, helping youth who are facing similar life crisis as she did. We talked to Angie to find out how her experiences has prepared her to serve our youth.

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