Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If you first met Gabe today, you would know him as a smart and successful man. He is a husband, a father, and currently part of the NorthEastern Apprenticeship & Training Program as an IBEW Local 1049 lineman. What you wouldn't know was what he's had to overcome to get to where he is now. Here is YouthBuild graduate Gabe's story in his own words:
"I grew up in Brentwood, Long Island and lived there for most of my childhood life. When I was 10 years old, my brother’s life was taken by a gang - He was only 19 years old when he died and today he would have been 38. He was my closest...
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Daryl is a U.S. Army veteran and a single father raising his 14-year-old daughter in Freeport, doing the best he can to provide her with a happy life. He had been working as an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn for over 10 years, when in 2009 the bus he was driving rolled over a loose construction plate and was dropped into a hole in the street. His hip and back were injured, forcing him to leave work and undergo extensive physical therapy to alieve his pain.
In 2013, he was involved in another accident less serious than the first but it aggravated his already sensitive lingering injuries. He...
Thursday, March 9, 2017
My name is Freddie and I am a proud 2013 graduate from United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild program. I was born and raised in Washington Heights, my parents are from the Dominican Republic and my home life was always chaotic - especially with three older siblings.
I had the privilege of attending Brandeis High School on the Upper West Side but did not recognize the advantage this would have given me in life. After only five months, I was kicked out and told that someone who wanted the opportunity to learn would better fill my spot. At the time I did not mind. I was lazy, never wanted to...
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Below are two inspiring letters from young people who were helped by our partner agency Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc:
"My name is Estefani. I am a senior student at Central Islip Senior High School. I would have never imaged being in the positioned I am today. Six years ago, I migrated to the United States and came to live with my parents for the first time. The fact that I did not speak any English seemed an astronomical obstacle to overcome. However, my parents' sacrifice gave me the fuel to one day have a better future and be able to attend college. I love being part of the National...
Friday, December 9, 2016
At only 36 years old, it seems that Englebert has already lived many different lifetimes. His favorite is the one he is living now – holding a steady, and exciting job as a Solar Installation Professional at EmPower Solar.
Englebert’s parents came to Long Island from Haiti, working 12-hour shift days leaving him to be the man of the house, responsible for his own wellbeing as well as his younger sister. It was difficult for the siblings to have a normal childhood as they were typically left with household responsibilities and no money for clothes or equipment for after school activities. Upon...
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Read the inspiring story of Alana and her family:
My husband and I met when we were 16 years old. We chose to enlist in the Army when we turned 18. I served for 8 years as military police and he as an armored crewman for 3 ½ years. We have two children, a 10 year old boy and an 8 year old girl.
After discharge, we returned home to Las Vegas but found ourselves struggling. Most of our family had moved out of state and the quality of education was poor. Since my mother lives on Long Island, in September of 2014 we decided to move to New York in hopes of a better education for our kids and...
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Before the first United Way ALICE report, ALICE was a population and a community issue without a name or face. The release of this study offered a new way to accurately quantify these households and to talk about the challenges that they face, just like Richelle of Long Island.
Richelle, a wife and mother of three was struggling to pay her bills on time and keep the house warm during the frigid winter months. She and her husband had both fallen on hard times, severely impacting their income and ability to keep up with household expenses. Despite Richelle and her husband both working full-...
Thursday, October 20, 2016
My name is Nia and my life matters.
I am the only child of a teenage mother who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. During my childhood I felt depressed, worthless, misunderstood and ashamed; I had thoughts of suicide. I thought that suicide would bring me peace and that my absence would take the burden off my family.
I didn't have many friends going up because my mother separated me from my peers. I saw my mother being mistreated because of her condition and constantly worried about a future for my mother and me. I knew what my dad looked like, however he was never a...
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
October 2-8 is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week. Below is an example of the many Long Islanders our partner agencies in the mental health field are making an impact on every day.
"NG" is a 15-year-old boy referred to United Way of Long Island partner agency Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay (YFCA) by his school social worker at the age of 11. He had been acting out in school, had very few, if any, friends, and was frequently the subject of ridicule by his peers. He reportered that he felt bullied by other children. Upon admission, he exhibited signs and symptoms of...
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Steve, 18 years old“I grew up in a normal family. I really can’t blame circumstances or hardship or mistreatment for my actions and my situation. I wanted to be somebody. I saw that people who cheated and stole got things I wanted. The music I listen to promotes all that. So I did it. My dad is a pastor at a church, the church I grew up in. I robbed a store with another guy, and got caught. I shamed my family. Now that I’m at the Ranch, I’m proud to say that I am changing. I’m doing well here and regret what I did to get here. When I leave I will succeed and make my dad proud again. I’m...