Today, I have yet another story to share with you about an incredible young woman from our Laurel House program, Lorena, and the impact she is making on her community!
At age 13, Lorena was kidnapped and raped. The trauma sent her into an unending struggle with alcohol, truancy, and rebellious friends. Depression crept into her brother’s and father’s lives as they watched her pain. Her mother sought counseling for Lorena, trying to restore the health of their family.
Lorena also recognized the need for change. “My school referred me to a therapist who told me about Laurel House.” Lorena says she entered Laurel House because her actions were hurting the people who loved her most. “I left my friends and family, basically everything, to change myself and get better.” Now 17, Lorena knows that her brutal experiences weren’t her fault. She confronted the man who terrorized her at his sentencing. “It was a healing moment. It put a close to that chapter,” Lorena remembers.
Lorena attributes her success to her faith in Jesus Christ and the support of the Laurel House community. “I decided to live the life God wants me to.” At Laurel House, she lives in a family environment of support, prayer, and quiet time for reflection and academic study.
Her studies have also improved. She maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking honors classes. “I’m always studying,” she says. “I went from not caring about school to believing that it is my life.” Before coming to Laurel House, Lorena didn’t think she could go to college or “even become someone great.” Now in her senior year, Lorena has been accepted to her first choice university and plans to study nursing. She now believes in her potential for greatness.
Lorena and the Laurel House girls are required to participate in a Christian youth group and to volunteer. Lorena volunteers as a mentor younger students through the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin.
The Boys & Girls Club of Tustin has awarded Lorena as Youth of the Year for 2018! As Youth of the Year, Lorena has been entrusted by the Club to be their representative in the community. This is an amazing honor, and we are incredibly proud of Lorena!
Lorena is a beautiful example of the redemption of Jesus Christ, which has completely transformed her life. Keep striving for greatness, Lorena!
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