A sistership is formed when girls are linked together by common experiences and shared goals. It is more than friendship and can be as powerful as family. For 17-year-old Sam, 16-year-old Makayla and 17-year-old Kimberly, living at Broyhill Home in Clyde has served as the bases for a unique sistership.
The three girls are all part of the Transitional Living program. The program helps youth 16 to 21 years of age to focus on their future and prepare for independence.
“We learn so many things,” Makayla says. “You get the help you need to focus on your career path and be ready to go out in the world, to be out on your own.”
The program covers the transition from coming into BCH’s care, being dependent in a highly structured cottage to a structured cottage with more freedoms to self-sufficient independence.
“You have more freedom,” Makayla asserts, “but you also have more responsibility.”
“I am able to focus more on the future,” Sam adds. “You begin taking responsibility for making your own decisions.”
Through the program, each girl set goals and defines strategies to accomplish the goals. They have part-time jobs, manage their own bank accounts, and earn the privilege to buy automobiles and own cell phones.
“I work at a local restaurant and am saving my money,” Sam says. “When the time comes, I want to have the money to rent an apartment.”
“I’m saving to buy a car,” Kimberly chimes in. “I work and pay some of my expenses.”
The girls pay a small stipend to the cottage – like rent. The money is returned to them when they leave Broyhill Home.
Transitional Living cottages are gender specific and have live-in resident managers who provide support and supervision. The length of placement is determined by the time it takes the young person to accomplish her goals.
“My goal is to earn an associate degree in child care,” Sam shares. “I want to work with special needs children. At school, I shadow a fellow student who has special needs. I feel the things that have happened to me in my life makes me better able to help others.”
The girls offer support to each other and find that their relationships with God helps them as they move forward.
“I give it all to God,” Kimberly says. “I’m learning if you focus on Him, it will turn out the way it’s supposed to – not necessarily the way I thought or at first wanted – but what He wants. It’s better that way.”
“I know that God wants what’s best for me,” Makayla says. “I’m so much farther along than I used to be.”
“She’s come a long way,” Sam says, affirming Makayla. “The more you learn how to take care of your own needs, the more you look forward to the future.”
“We are all so much more confident,” Kimberly adds.
“Definitely!” Makayla says.
“Yes!” Sam resounds.
The girls all agree that being at Baptist Children’s Homes has made the difference in their lives.
“Without everyone here helping,” Kimberly confides. “I know we would not be the people we are today. We would not have the opportunity to dream or work on goals that will make us the young women we dream of becoming.”
Each girl is thankful and is determined to make the best of every opportunity. Kimberly says, “I would have never found the love of Christ if this place did not exist. Thanks to all who have made this possible. Your support helps girls like me go from nothing to something.”
You can help! Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina's Transitional Living program is helping children blossom into independent adults. Support Kimberly, Makalya, Sam and other children benefiting from this incredible program by making an online gift at www.bchfamily.org/givenow