Immigrant’s Search for a Better Future

Mexican Immigrant
Mexican Immigrant

Mexican Immigrant

At Trinity Youth Services, our mission is to “help children and families create a better future.” This is the story of Albert,* a foster youth who found his “better future” by becoming an American citizen.

After years of being separated from her son, Albert’s mother paid smugglers, known as “coyotes,” to bring him to the United States from El Salvador, where he had been living with his grandmother. Albert was arrested by immigration officers as he crossed the border and was detained for nearly a month before being released to his mother and her American husband in Los Angeles.

Albert had difficulty adjusting to his new life. His mother and stepfather had a new baby and Albert felt like he didn’t belong. Language issues made school challenging, so Albert stopped attending and fell in with a gang. He had only been in the country seven months before he committed a minor crime, which led to his arrest and confinement in juvenile hall. Albert was arraigned and placed into the care of Trinity Youth Services. His mother then refused to be involved in her son’s life, saying he was “ruining” her new family. At 12 years old, Albert felt his life was over.

Because Albert had no other family in the United States, the judge allowed him to stay in Trinity’s care through the Department of Child and Family Services. Albert spent a total of two years in Trinity’s residential treatment program, working with staff to acquire the knowledge, skills and tools that would prepare him to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. When he was ready, Trinity Team Support Workers, with the volunteer assistance of a paralegal, helped Albert navigate the process, complete the necessary paperwork and even accompanied him to court hearings in an effort to make his dream become a reality.

After becoming a citizen, Albert felt something was still missing from his American dream…

Because approximately 50% of foster children experience some length of homelessness as adults, and knowing that Albert could not return to his family, his Trinity treatment team worked tirelessly to find a resource family to care for him. He met with one potential foster mother, who was retired from the juvenile justice system, and the two immediately connected. Because of her previous occupation, her experience fostering other children and being the child of immigrants herself, she understands the challenges Albert has had to endure. Following their meeting, Albert couldn’t stop talking about her; how nice she was; how much they had in common and how he couldn’t believe she had carpeting all throughout her home! Albert is in the process of being placed with his new resource family.

football

Now 14 years old, Albert is excelling in high school and is making friends. He discovered a love of football, joined the team and won a certificate for “Best Freshmen Defensive Player.” Even though Albert spoke very little English when he came to Trinity, English is now his favorite subject. After high school, he plans to attend college and eventually play pro football.

Only two years after feeling his life was over, Albert is facing a bright future. People around him describe him as a “pleasant” and “focused” young man who always has a smile on his face and loves to make people laugh. Albert is constantly expressing his gratitude for his new “mom,” and for his Trinity “family.” Although his life in the United States is very different than the one he had dreamed of for so long, he still believes dreams do come true – with hard work, opportunity and the support of caring individuals.

At Trinity, we’re here for the good times and bad; to provide focused guidance and therapeutic treatment when needed, and to be a sympathetic listener. We see lives change and dreams come true and we can’t wait to see this young man make a touchdown at his first pro football game!

If you have room in your heart and your home to care for a child like Albert, please submit an inquiry form on our website. For additional information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call (888) 346-9645 or email info@trinityys.org.

*Names and details have been omitted or altered to protect the privacy of the child.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


new books

new books

Thanks to the team at Children’s Foundation of America, Trinity Youth Services’ residential treatment centers now have an updated stock of brand new books!

From The Grapes of Wrath to Harry Potter, the new library collections offer a variety of titles for all sorts of individually unique personalities and interests. A significant portion of the books are literary masterpieces every young person should have access to, like The Odyssey, Frankenstein, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, 1984, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Some of the more contemporary books include Eragon, Hatchet, The Outsiders and The Hunger Games.

The selection of nearly 200 new books were hand-selected by Foundation staff with the help of knowledgeable Barnes & Noble employees.

Children's Foundation of America Barnes & Noble

“Our goal was to choose a diverse collection of books with varying subject matters to create a classical literary collection for the boys in residential treatments centers to enjoy,” said Foundation Community Outreach Coordinator, Rebecca Ustrell.

The residential treatment program provides therapeutic treatment services to English and Spanish speaking adolescent males, 12 to 18 years of age, who have been placed by county probation departments. Although placed through probation, the behaviors these youth have displayed are typically in response to, and the result of, a history of trauma, abuse, neglect or abandonment. The young men often develop emotional and behavioral challenges. These factors then manifest into behaviors that require intensive, short-term residential treatment in order to mitigate identified mental health issues, change behavioral patterns and reduce recidivism.

The books provided by the Children’s Foundation of America will have a positive impact on the youth in our residential programs. Trinity Youth Services is grateful for partnerships like these, which help us stay up to date with quality resources for the youth in our care.

To help support initiatives like this, please consider donating to the Children’s Foundation of America. For more information, contact the Foundation at 1 (800) 543-7730 or visit their website.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


London in London

Former foster youth, London Taylor, is setting out to make a difference in the world. At 19 years of age, London has been accepted into Richmond, The American International University in London where he is studying International Relations.

London in London

Changing Perceptions

It was his time in Trinity Youth Services’ residential program that inspired him to pursue a career in social issues.

“My perceptions were changed in Trinity’s environment when I started to discern the unique circumstances of each individual peer that I came into contact with,” he said.

Describing his experience at Trinity, London stated, “fundamental attribution error is the tendency where humans tend to attribute other humans’ shortcomings and hardships to those individuals themselves, failing to account for any other extenuating circumstances. This stigma is a mechanism used too often by the masses to describe disenfranchised groups like foster teens, homeless individuals and lower income individuals. Trinity’s programs are advantageous for such groups in society,” he said.

While at Trinity, London wrote a book titled “Politik” and later independently published it through Squarespace. Because London’s focus is on assisting the disadvantaged, he intends for all proceeds of the book to be donated to UNICEF.

Since being in Trinity’s programs, London has “a high regard for Trinity’s vocational and independent living skills programs, which are dynamic and relevant,” he said.

College Life

After graduating from Trinity’s residential program, London began looking through a list of colleges. The name Richmond, The American International University in London caught his attention. He began to extensively research the university and became increasingly interested in the school. He decided to apply and was accepted. London was even awarded scholarships, including the Michael Alexander Memorial Scholarship, administered by Trinity.

He began his first semester in fall 2016 and will continue there until the completion of his bachelor’s degree. The International Relations degree prepares students for work in international organizations, business, finance, the media and government agencies. The major requires “articulate, clear thinking individuals with a grasp of contemporary political issues, succinct writing styles, and the ability to present complex arguments.”

London in London

Making Connections

London’s favorite part about studying in such an international city has been making connections relevant to his major. He recently had the opportunity to speak with the former head of a nongovernmental organization which lobbies governments worldwide to uphold the religious freedom rights found in Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Through his networking, London hopes to find an internship at one of the many interesting and important organizations making a global difference.

“Here I am in arguably the most global city in the world, studying, working and exploring internship options—it’s a tremendous blessing,” he said.

World View

London is very focused on his studies, but makes sure to set time aside for sightseeing and travel. This is important for developing a world view and gaining international experience. Britain’s close proximity to other nearby European countries makes international travel possible for him. London has already had the opportunity to visit his cousin in Italy, who is studying in Milan.

London in London

Giving Back

Aside from his schoolwork, London is currently volunteering in the administrative offices of a local mental health clinic and hopes to gain more experience with his other passion—Psychology. In addition to majoring in International Relations, London is also minoring in Psychology.

Looking to the future, London aspires to become a diplomat or ambassador for an intergovernmental organization like the United Nations or a nongovernmental organization like CARE International. London also looks forward to authoring more books and wishes to promote peace, human rights and policies to help society worldwide.

For more stories of success, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. To contact us about Trinity Youth Services programs, call (800) 964-9811 or email info@trinityys.org.


Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing and Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org


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