On November 10, 2019, I will run the Harrisburg Marathon while 21 weeks pregnant and dedicate it to the youths at UMHC. While in the midst of starting my own family, I want to do something to support other children and their families. I would love your help to raise money for the youths who have inspired and educated me in so many ways.
At the end of 2018, I accepted a full-time job as a youth care worker at the United Methodist Home for Children
(UMHC) and spent the next eight months working in an independent living cottage for girls 16 to 20 years old who are learning life skills to succeed as adults when they leave the group home.
Growing up and learning to be an adult is tough for anyone
. I can't imagine my transition into adulthood without the support of my family. But the youth at UMHC face additional challenges. Although each youth comes to UMHC for different reasons, many of them are removed by court-order from unsafe homes or dangerous situations. These young people have been neglected, abandoned, abused and assaulted. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress or other disorders. Often, they are developmentally disadvantaged for their ages. These youths' particular stories are not mine to tell, but I assure you that each one has a story that would inspire, encourage, or tug on your heart strings.
While working at UMHC this spring, I also completed my doctorate in Adult Education, which made me eligible for a promotion with Board of Child Care (BCC), the company with which UMHC merged this year. Now I am the Professional Curriculum and Training Manager, in charge of developing training for staff across BCC's residential campuses in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I miss working with the girls in the cottage, but I am also grateful that I can use my skills, education, and passion to continue to serve these girls and their families in this role. But I'd like to do even more.
UMHC is a non-profit organization that has served children and families in central Pennsylvania for over 100 years, and has been able to persevere with charitable donations. I am raising money for UMHC and donating it specifically for Youth Care, which means the funds will go towards a range of care needs: food, clothing, life skills training, learning support, counseling, and more.