Stories of Hope

Jasper’s Story

Before coming to Together for Youth in 2021, Jasper described himself as unsure of what his future would hold. He was an overzealous youth who couldn’t stay focused on his studies and struggled with mental health issues. As one of three boys being raised in a household by a single mom, it was challenging to prioritize Jasper’s mental health. He was acting out, arguing with his coaches, teachers, and mom, and finding ways to get in trouble.

Jasper reflects on his time before Together for Youth and says, “It wasn’t mine or my mom’s fault, we just had a lot going on.” As concerns grew about Jasper’s mental well-being and as his disruptive behavior escalated, he eventually found himself under the care of Together for Youth’s Group Home Team. Upon coming into care, Jasper received structured guidance and established both routines and clear behavioral expectations. The team at the group home provided him with individualized support and assistance tailored to his needs.

A young man sits on a wooden bench outdoors, wearing a light blue t-shirt and jeans. He is smiling, holding a football in one hand, and has white earphones in his ears. A brick building and trees are visible in the background.

Within just a short period, Jasper’s behavior improved, leaving a positive impression on both the Berkshire team and fellow youth in the group home. With the dedicated care of his team and stabilized mental health, he continued to actively participate in cherished activities, particularly sports. Being an athlete, he takes pride in recounting his accomplishments in basketball, football, and even a bit of soccer,
showcasing his commitment outside of school.

Jasper credits his TFY team for their support, recalling times from the past when he felt lost and lacking any direction. Now, thanks to their guidance, he finds relief in activities like sports and leans into the coping skills he has developed, which aid him emotionally.

Additionally, he attributes much of his growth to group meetings held within the group home. These sessions have played a crucial role in making him prioritize his mental well-being, seek support from friends, and gain independent living skills like money management.

Jasper now feels confident in outlining goals for himself and his future because of the help from his team. He excitedly shares his plans to attend college in the fall where he’ll be majoring in Sports Journalism.

“Jasper has demonstrated increased self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-determination while playing sports. He serves as a role model for younger residents within the group home,” said Jamie Whalen, Assistant Director of Group Home & Transitional Services.

Before Together for Youth, he wasn’t sure if college would be a reality. Now, with plans to begin college and eventually launch his sports journalism career, he says, “I want to help my family in every way that I can. I want to make my mom proud.”

“I want to help my family in every way that I can. I want to make my mom proud.”

With newfound clarity and determination, Jasper now looks ahead to a promising future. His journey serves as an inspiring reminder of the power of community, overcoming adversity, and the relentless pursuit of one’s dreams. As he embarks on this next chapter, Jasper remains committed to making his family proud and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.