Youth Reflection: My Life has Changed So Much

former homeless teen | Covenant House

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

“To tell you this story, I’m going to start from the beginning, back to April 1, 2017. I lived in Nome, a small town just over 1,000 miles northwest of here. What led me to Anchorage was being homeless in the bitter months of the brutal winter, living on the streets of Nome, in temperatures that reach -20 degrees below zero. In Nome, there was nothing for me. I was leading a miserable life. I had come to Covenant House Alaska on the first day of April at 4:00 p.m. to make a change.

At Covenant House, I took every opportunity to better my life. I found out about the JAG program (Jobs for America’s Graduates) at Covenant House, by coming into the office and talking with a few JAG specialists about the program. I got to know how good of a support system the program was. I asked about high school completion programs and I was so happy and excited to be getting back in school and finishing up my diploma. Ever since I re-enrolled into school through JAG, I’ve been going to school nonstop since day one. I’m proud of how much work I’ve put in over the last eleven months. I finished my Alaska Studies class with a 90% grade.

Honestly, I’m not working on my high school diploma just for myself. I’m doing it for my four nieces and my nephew back home to show them if I can do it, they can do it, too.

My life has changed so much since I came to Covenant House Alaska. If I hadn’t made the choice to leave, I would be living a miserable life back home on a daily basis. I wouldn’t have any stable housing. I wouldn’t be back in school, earning my high school diploma. I wouldn’t have words of encouragement, and support, and most of all…motivation. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself and I’ve gained a lot of independence. I’ve learned responsibility and professionalism, and how to manage my bank account properly. And I now have goals and plans for my life. My goals after I earn my high school diploma are enlisting into the United States Marine Corps, and possibly becoming a police officer after my time in the military. Thank you ALL for supporting the youth of Covenant House Alaska.

–Kevin Thomas is now in stable housing, living independently, and is a proud advocate for youth at risk of homelessness in Alaska.

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