Our Second Stories
Stories of young people who connected with our programs, got the support they needed, and began writing their Second Stories. (Unless otherwise specified, names and identifying details have been changed to protect privacy.)
Listen to the Second Stories Podcast
The Second Stories podcast is dedicated to telling stories of people who had first stories full of hardship and hopelessness, yet were able to change the narrative and write their own second story. Their stories of resilience and hope, but also tributes to the people and experiences and organizations that made it possible for them to start again.
Kiki’s Second Story
“Kiki” was used to being on the run. She didn’t get along with her adoptive mother very well, and her solution was always to escape for a few days. One day, after a big fight, Kiki took off to New York. She fled the fights and the conflict at home, but found something altogether worse: human trafficking. Over and over again while in New York, Kiki was forced to exchange her body for shelter and food. She was away from home for over a month before she finally returned home to DC where she heard about Second Story for Teens in Crisis.
Zoe’s Second Story
“Zoe’s” parents were abusive. Her earliest memories weren’t filled with family dinners or bedtime stories, but instead Child Protective Services removing her from her mom and dad’s home. Zoe needed a place where she was safe, so CPS introduced Zoe and her family to Second Story for Teens in Crisis.
Brayan’s Second Story
As a child in Guatemala Brayan would make his own toys with things around his house. He became fascinated with invention, especially the Tesla coil. Tinkering with how things work was Brayan’s refuge, but life at home was difficult. He grew used to threats and feeling unsafe, but when he was 16 things got worse. He came to the United States and was granted asylum, but he continued to struggle with depression. He worked 12 hour shifts after school, but everything changed when he was introduced to Second Story.
Trinity’s Second Story
“Trinity” was a hard worker, full of dreams and determined to make them come true. Her GPA was good, she made the honor roll and enjoyed going to school. Although everything at school seemed in order, her life at home was spinning out of control. After a big fight with her dad, Trinity ran away and stayed on her friends’ couches for months.
Madi’s Second Story
“Madi” hated how much she and her parents fought, but it was still an enormous blow when they kicked her out of the house. She wasn’t sure where to turn for help so she started crashing at friends’ houses. When Madi found out she was pregnant everything changed, and she reached out to Second Story.
Andrea’s Second Story
“Andrea” was desperate when her friend gave her the phone number for Second Story’s hotline. She had been on the run for two weeks but it felt like months. She knew anything would be better than this, so she decided to call the hotline.
Jake’s Second Story
Not long ago Jake was living in a supportive family, but when his mom died things changed. His step dad wasn’t able to make the mortgage payments and they lost their house. A family member offered to let him stay for a while, but all they could spare was a place to sleep in their walk-in closet. One day, a school social worker realized what was going on and called Second Story.
Nyomi’s Second Story
It seemed like every time “Nyomi” and her mom talked it turned into an argument. At first they just disagreed about little things throughout the day, but as Nyomi got older the arguments grew more and more intense. Nyomi’s mom heard about Second Story for Teens in Crisis and reached out in an effort to improve her relationship with her daughter.
Moesha’s Second Story
When “Moesha” found out she was pregnant, her mom kicked her out of the house and Moesha became homeless. Now a part Second Story, Moesha is attending life skills and parenting classes while continuing at her job. Moesha was handed a story written with bitterness and tinged with hardship, but she’s determined to write her own second story, one marked by hope, confidence, and dignity.
Sofia’s Second Story
When Sofia heard that her father was moving out of the country, she refused to leave her house and stopped attending the Safe Youth Project. After a few weeks, the program coordinator called Sofia and asked her to start coming back, everyone missed her. Sofia agreed, and in no time she started feeling happier and more hopeful.
Delilah’s Second Story
“Delilah” had been staying with an older man for almost a week when her anxious parents finally located her. She came to the teen shelter, and admitted to the counselors that she wasn’t always searching for respect in her relationships, but running away from loneliness instead.
Izzy’s Second Story
Izzy shivered in the dark, cradling her growing belly. She was pregnant. She imagined caring for her baby in her tent without heat, without four sturdy walls, totally exposed to the wind and cold. She knew she couldn’t stay there much longer. So Izzy reached out to Second Story for Young Mothers.
Eliza’s Second Story
“Eliza” felt like she had plunged into a nightmare. In a moment, she lost everything she held close: her parents were killed, requiring her to leave everything she knew at home and move to the United States to live with extended family. In the midst of her tension, Eliza came to Second Story’s teen shelter.
Maria’s Second Story
“Maria”, an upcoming 5th grader, always asked for help with language arts. But Maria wasn’t simply frustrated by the assignment--she was even having trouble reading the instructions. Then she met a Safe Youth Project volunteer named Lisa.
Debbi’s Second Story
"Debbi" was kicked out of her home by her father. She'd been receiving demeaning comments and emotional abuse from her father for a long time. With us she found a safe place to stay, warm meals, and support.