Makayla: Finding Your Place

Former homeless youth Makayla at Covenant House Texas

This story was written and originally published by Covenant House Texas.

Finding your place in the world is one of the hardest struggles that a young person faces, especially when they don’t have a network in place to help them. The long road to independence can be littered with false starts and pitfalls but the important thing is to never give up. For Makayla, a Covenant House Texas resident, being on campus means she’s one step closer to achieving her dream of being a nurse.

“I found Covenant House at just the right time,” said Makayla, the 21-year-old who is now on her second stay at Covenant House Texas following years in and out of the foster care system. After facing the possibility of being unhoused for the holidays while caring for her 2-year-old son, Kingston, she shared, “I didn’t think my baby would get anything for Christmas, but Covenant House really came through for us.”

Fortunate enough to visit family on Christmas Day, Makayla was overwhelmed upon her return to her room the next day. Passionate about art since she was young, she was thrilled to find three art sets waiting for her, explaining she uses art as both a coping skill and a way to express her creativity. In addition to the many toys her son received, she’s most excited about the coloring books gifted to him and hopes she can share her love of art with him as he gets older. Just like Makayla and Kingston, every youth at Covenant House Texas received gifts from their personalized wish list thanks to the generosity of Covenant House supporters during the holidays.

During Makayla’s time at Covenant House, she’s utilized the on-campus education resources and is working with the staff to secure all the documentation she needs for nursing school. Makayla’s long-term goal is to work in a hospital in spite of the risks because it has always been a passion of hers since she was a little girl living with her grandmother. In the short-term, Makayla is working hard and wants to stay with the program as long as she’s able so that when she leaves, she can provide for Kingston and herself. When asked what she enjoys most about Covenant House, the privacy afforded to her and her son tops the list, but also the fact that staff encourage you to make the most out of your situation. “You’ve got to come in here running, not on your knees crawling,” she advises. The passion in her voice makes it clear that Makayla is not one to rest and that despite the setbacks she’s faced, she’s moving closer and working harder than ever to achieve her goals.

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