"The difference a day makes"
Several months ago Rico was hanging out with friends at a skate park in Kent when a car drove by and started shooting at him and his friends. As they ran away Rico was hit in the leg and ended up spending that afternoon in the hospital considering how lucky he was that the bullet struck him where it did. For most, an incident like this would have been all the motivation necessary to start making positive changes but not for Rico. As soon as he was released he went back to the same habits, the same friends, and the same dangerous and destructive behaviors. A couple months later he would be arrested and at risk of being charged for theft and obstruction of justice but instead of getting a call from the courts to schedule his arraignment he received a call from the 180 Program inviting him to attend our Youth 180 Workshop.
His mother Maria remembers driving him to the workshop that Saturday in May; "On the way to the program we were fighting because he didn't want to be there and I was crying." It didn't take long for Rico to change his mind. Midway through the first part of the afternoon he left the workshop, went out to the car where his mother was waiting and told her she had to come in and be a part of the experience. Maria and Rico participated throughout the day and at the completion of the workshop they both knew something was different. Maria explains that on the way home Rico kept saying "I see everything really clear." When they got home he not only was treating his sisters differently but he even cleaned his room to which she said "oh my God something happened to him!" Rico reflected " I felt like I've been asleep forever and I just woke up" and "I want to see the other side of the road now."
Immediately after the workshop the 180 Program Outreach and Intake Specialist Von reached out to Rico to assure he got connected to the support services he needed to help sustain his commitment to change. Rico knew he needed to "man up and do his stuff" so once connected with the staff at Renton Youth Source he was able to complete all of his GED tests in less than four weeks! At his graduation the 180 staff was there to celebrate him alongside his mother and several of his friends. After watching Rico receive his GED certificate less than a month after completing the Youth 180 Workshop all of us were proud. Maria in consideration of Rico's 180 experience said "To me it was a miracle."
What a difference a day makes!