Stories of Help and Hope

Sally's Story

Sally is an eleven year old who attends an elementary school in the Ryves neighborhood. Over the last year her attendance at Ryves Youth Center has been the only constant in her life and a source of refuge.

Sally and her family move from one home to another at least once during each school year. While her parents deal with substance abuse issues, the family often struggles just to provide the most basic of needs. At a time when most children should be focused on learning, playing, or making new friends, Sally faces problems that are difficult for adults to solve.

"When I get out of school each day this is where I want to be, it's may family and they look out for me. I used to wonder if we would have dinner sometimes or when we would move again, sometimes I still wonder. When I come here I don't think about it as much."


Katie's Story

Working as a volunteer at Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall has enhanced all areas of my life. My experiences have allowed me to share my passion for learning as a tutor; express my creativity through art programming; and develop imaginative funding solutions. The staff have encouraged me to share my talents and sought ways to incorporate them into the afternoon programming. Volunteering gives me a sense of joy that might come from the idea that I have inspired a child, the inherent sense that I have made a difference, a new appreciation for all that I have, or the smile on a young face. Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall is a special place and I feel truly fortunate to be a part of it.


Sandy's Story

Sandy has been coming to Ryves Youth Center for years. She is eleven years old and has many goals that will help her succeed in life.  Before playing games, you will find her with our tutors working hard on her homework. This year Sandy's lowest ISTEP score was 27 points higher than the state average.  After she is sure that her homework is done she participates in Afternoons ROCK in Indiana, skating, and the Sweeties.  Sandy and her sister also receive food each Friday through the BackPack Program.

You would never know what Sandy and her family face.  She is always smiling and helpful to her friends and our staff. Because of economic problems, Sandy and her sister were sent to live with different family members, so they use their time at Ryves to bond together.

Sandy’s mom was the first child to walk through our doors in 1982. Since then she and her husband have had many struggles such as drug use, lack of employment, and the challenges of raising children. Even with all of these problems, Sandy’s parents are always willing and happy to help. Whenever they stop by for dinner they always make sure that there is enough help to take out the trash and wash the dishes.

Sandy and her family have become part of our family. The girls have a safe place to spend time while they receive help with home work and receive school supplies, meals, and programs which help them grow into positive adults.  By spending their time at Ryves Youth Center Sandy and her family have the support they need to face their problems.



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