Makayla entered foster care in kindergarten and spent time in multiple foster homes, often separated from her siblings. She was eventually placed in a longer-term home with one of her sisters, but it was an unhealthy environment. When she was 17, her sister was kicked out and Makayla moved with her.
Through community events, Makayla was introduced to Just in Time staff member Vanessa, who invited her to join JIT. Makayla was initially hesitant, as she had a negative view of foster care services based on her experiences. Eventually, she decided to engage in multiple services and her perspective started to change.
When Rise to Resilience, JIT’s service focused on healing as a community, was being launched, Makayla was asked to provide her insights on how the service could best serve participants. She felt personally invested and was ready for change.
“I was at a really tough time in my life,” she shared. “I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was living with my child by myself. I was always diving into work but was never happy and couldn’t figure out why. I was also at my highest weight ever.”
Through Rise to Resilience, Makayla learned healthy coping mechanisms and was able to explore her relationships with others, food, her body, and more. She noted that the community was the greatest benefit for her, encouraging her to work out and providing her with a safe space and people to talk to. In addition to feeling lighter in spirit, Makayla has lost 40 pounds and is feeling better than ever!
“I realized that I am enough,” said Makayla. “I have a lot more confidence in myself. I started exercising and making time for myself. The nutrition portion was especially helpful. I’m able to cook healthy meals for my children now.”
Makayla is now approaching life with an open mind and open heart, ready to grow more every day!