A junior studying filmmaking at Rochester Institute of Technology, Kristie received Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc.’s behavioral health services as a child, and her siblings who struggle with developmental challenges continue to receive services. The family has faced poverty, health issues and with the mother’s recent incarceration, the threat of family separation.
“I almost lost my siblings to foster care, something that is still a real threat. But every day, [my YAP team] Brian [McCormick] and Tara [McNulty] help my family cope, teach my brothers proper responsibility, and make sure I don’t lose my head among the mess. I can honestly say I do not know where I would be without their help. Especially in keeping my sanity when I am away at school, because I know they are here and doing their best to keep things running smoothly, allowing myself to put more focus onto my work.”
Kristie opened up about her childhood in her application letter for the YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education Scholarship. Recipients of the $1,000 award are young people served by the organization and their family members to use to further their education or career pursuits.
In her letter recommending Kristie for the scholarship, McNulty wrote: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Kristie is not only one of the most amazing clients, but also one of the most impressive human beings, I’ve ever met. Kristie’s family has lived in poverty for her entire life, and instead of complaining about it she got a job to help them out while still managing to make the honor roll, practice the violin, do chores, and create art.”
McNulty said for Kristie, the scholarship would be a well-deserved break and an opportunity to feel appreciated.
Kristie described it as much more -- another resource in her YAP toolkit that will secure her family’s foundation.
I want to help give my family the best, because they are only kids, and they deserve to know what it’s like to have a happy childhood.”
“…without all your assistance, my family would likely be split up who-knows-where. I cannot express how much your kindness, availability to help, and willingness has inspired me to keep going so that one day I can give back to my family and community in the best ways imaginable: unconditional love and financial support, so that my brothers and sister can reach their true potential as well, and truly make my father proud.”