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.
Meghan and Jennifer’s Second Stories (Video)
Meghan got kicked out when she found out she was pregnant. Jennifer's home was filled with fear because of her abusive father. Both of these young women found Second Story at a critical moment in their lives. Now they're free to dream about their futures, about their careers and their hopes to create safe families of their own.
Johnny and Merrill’s Second Story
Johnny and Merrill Chanel are eager to say that Second Story has changed not just their two lives but their entire family.
The Haywards’ Second Story
Summer can be a challenging time for families, with young people home more often childcare can be difficult, and youth have a lot more free time. This past summer was especially challenging for the “Haywards.”
Moira’s Second Story
“Moira” was an amazing student. School was an escape and a motivator for her. Things at home were more complicated, and just after her 18th birthday Moira was kicked out. She wasn't sure she would be able to graduate high school until she found Second Story.
Kendra’s Second Story
After being driven out of her home, solicited in exchange for rent, and left as a single parent, Kendra became homeless. She was out of options until she found Second Story.
Camila’s Second Story
When “Camila’s” teachers recommended that Camila be placed in accelerated classes so that she could learn faster and have more opportunities in school, she was nervous. So, she went to her Safe Youth Project Program Coordinator for advice. The program coordinator, "Anna," was excited to hear the news -- she had noticed how smart Camila was and knew that she would thrive in accelerated classes! Things were difficult at first, though and Camilla got discouraged, so Anna and some volunteers stepped in to help.
Dennis’s Second Story
"Dennis" was 18 when his stepmother kicked him out of the house, but just because he was an adult didn’t mean he felt ready to live on his own. He was still a high school student, and the burden of succeeding in school and earning enough money to pay rent was crushing. Dennis moved in with some friends and soon grew exhausted and overwhelmed. Everything changed when his friend introduced Dennis to Second Story.
Carla’s Second Story
When Carla found out she was pregnant, she knew she had to get away from her volatile family. She became homeless, relying on her abusive ex-boyfriend and crashing at peoples' houses. Now, she's a graduate of Second Story for Young Mothers, a homeowner, a student, and a healthy mother to her two sons. Watch the video to hear her story.
Jasmine’s Second Story
Jasmine was pregnant, scared, and living in an unsafe situation. When she found Second Story for Young Mothers, everything changed. In her letter, she reflects on everything she learned and how much the program helped her.
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.