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Elizabeth Terry, Advocate
Clinton County, NY
When I was first introduced to Mae Ellen Brothers in March 2011 I could immediately tell that she was a loving, genuine, caring person. At this time Mae was dealing with some issues with her oldest son and was feeling stressed and overwhelmed with her situation. Mae's two main struggles were that she lacked self confidence and assertiveness because she had underwent years of abuse which had led to her feeling worthless and powerless. These issues made it difficult for Mae to be authoritative in disciplining her children. At our first meeting I was already sure that I would be able to give Mae the little help she needed to get back on track.
Since my work has started with Mae she has achieved so many accomplishments. Mae has returned to college for Human Services. She hopes to one day aid victims of domestic violence like herself. She often expresses her gratitude for all the help she has received and wants to give back to others in need. She is driven and strives to do her best in everything she does.
Since March, Mae has also found her voice again. She now speaks up for herself when needed. She also has greatly improved in being an authoritative parent and ensures that her children follow the rules they were assigned and complete their chores so they will remain safe and learn responsibility.
Mae has come such a long way in such a short time. She has the drive and motivation to truly go far. Mae is one of the most resilient people I have ever met. I would say that Mae truly deserves this award not only for what she has already overcome, but for what she continues to do to succeed.
Mae Ellen Brothers
Before the Youth Advocate Program has become a part of my life I found myself overwhelmed, frustrated, and depressed. I was going through a very hard time in my life. I was going in and out of court with my previous abusive partner who is also my daughter's father. The physical abuse took place for over a period of six years and has affected my whole family. It mentally has done a lot of damage to each and every one of us. My oldest son has anger issues, my second oldest son has separation anxiety and anger issues, my youngest son is afraid of all males, and being locked up in his room. My daughter who is my youngest was physically and sexually abused by her father. As for myself, I went through six years of hell of him physically and mentally abusing me in front of all of my children. We all feared for our lives.
Yap is helping me and my family work towards having a normal life again. They are also helping me work on my self esteem. Since starting with YAP they have helped me to go back to college to pursue a degree in human services. YAP has helped me in realizing that I am a good person and I have many special qualities. They have helped me and my family do fun activities together so we can enjoy our time together without fear. I have become much closer with my family. We have now started being able to laugh and smile with each other and are much happier.
Looking into the future I am excited to know that YAP will be continuing to work with me on my self esteem and help with ensuring that my son continues down the right path with doing well in school and being able to live a normal childhood without worrying about protecting me all the time.
I would recommend YAP to any family who has went through difficult times or is currently having troubles. It is a great program that has really helped my family. My oldest son now has a job and has been able to handle his anger issues and has become more lovable as with all of my other children. As for myself, I have realized I can still fulfill my dreams and that it's not too late!