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.
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.
Bella’s Second Story
The lice went away. But the stigma did not. Bella became embarrassed that she had experienced a lice episode, and began avoiding the Safe Youth Project.
Jonesha’s Second Story
"My father, he didn’t know I existed. Not until I was three, when my mother passed away. He was notified, and got joint custody with my adopted mom."
Claire’s Second Story
Claire was apprehensive about sharing personal details. She was afraid that our counselors would return her to live with her father.
Tommy’s Second Story
In a life-shattering event, Tommy’s mother left him, and he and his father were alone. Tommy felt abandoned. He lost the ability to trust others.
Kayla’s Second Story
When she first arrived, her mother told our staff that 12-year-old Kayla was having difficulty making friends and adjusting to the US school system.
Ricky’s Second Story
Ricky could have become a runaway, and stepped onto the path to homelessness, or succumbed to the promises of gangs who prey upon high school students living marginal lives.
Tim’s Second Story
From the time Tim was just a baby until he became too old and "aged out" of the system, he moved in and out of foster care homes and residential placements.
Aaron’s Second Story
He woke up somewhere different each night, was skipping meals, and did not have space or privacy. Due to his tumultuous situation, Aaron dropped out of his classes.