Rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania is the backdrop for love, loss and a new start in the life of Beverly Stevanus.
“Beverly is phenomenal”, says YAP’s Behavioral Health Specialist Lindsay Frampton. “Her story tells you why.”
In November 2011, Beverly lost her husband in a tragic car accident. She was left to mourn with her two young sons in an old farmhouse on a lonely road in an isolated area. Consumed by grief, Beverly was overwhelmed by her younger son’s major behavioral issues both in and out of school. She also struggled with her own health problems and the many challenges of rural life in a low-income community.
Beverly was still traveling a rough road of despair when she met Lindsay in August 2012. YAP’s Somerset County Program accepts “self referrals” and Beverly reached out for help. Lindsay and Beverly worked together in the home setting, finding ways to help manage her son’s behavioral issues. YAP’s school and community work augmented in-home services to address multiple needs.
Serious misfortune struck the family again in February 2013. Beverly was hospitalized for four weeks and Children and Youth placed her sons in kinship care. The boys’ new home and school were 20 miles away from Beverly’s farmhouse, but YAP went the distance to keep working with them.
A new chapter in the family’s life began with their reunification in June 2013. “It was like a light switch went on,” Lindsay says, speaking of the time after Beverly’s hospitalization when she and her sons returned home. “Beverly was absolutely driven to make her kids’ lives better,” she adds. “There was a newfound spark.”
That “spark” became a fire of determination in Beverly’s continuing education. She will soon graduate with a Medical Assisting certification from the Somerset County Technology Center and will begin LPN training there in August 2014. Her scholarship from YAP’s Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education will help pay for uniforms, nursing shoes, books and other necessities.
In her scholarship application, Beverly wrote that she has always loved taking care of others, especially her family. “Although it has been a struggle, financially, physically and mentally, I would not trade [the boys] for the world,” she said.
Beverly is confident that she can complete LPN training that will help her get a “decent job with medical benefits” to better provide for her family while helping others in need. “Offering my skill to others would make a real difference in their lives and mine,” she says.
Lindsay agrees. “Beverly has always been open to suggestions on how to address her challenges,” she says. “This is more than a new chapter in her life--she’s writing a whole new book.”