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Martin seemed destined for a life in and out of prison.  As a youth he experienced abuse and fell into a similar circle of violence and oppositional defiant behavior that kept him constantly in trouble including a stint in probation.  Now he is a successful adult managing vital components of the Emergency Alert System.


 Martin credits Family & Youth Services Bureau for playing a large role in breaking that pattern.  Both he and his mom used a variety of the services FYSB provided throughout his childhood. 


It wasn’t a quick fix in any way but eventually all of the tools and structure provided in various programs enabled him to change his life around.

My childhood was not an easy one. I was stuck in the middle of a nasty divorce followed by abandonment by one parent and neglect by the other. I was confused. I didn’t understand why this was happening and I was an emotional mess. The judge ordered that I get counseling at FYSB to help me get through the abusive situation.


What I can remember is what those sessions meant to me. My counselor listened to me when no one else seemed to.  My sessions were intervals of calm in the chaos of my everyday life. It was a huge part of helping me cope with my current situation, but also gave me the tools to deal with the challenges I was going to face the rest of my life with a parent struggling with addiction.


Despite the many obstacles, with help from FYSB, I was able to stay on the right path. Eventually I was abandoned by the other parent and if it wasn’t for the rest of my family stepping up to care for me, I don’t know where I would have ended up. Eventually I went to college and am now a project manager at a local software company. I may have had to fight for myself but I made it out the other side.

My amazing experience with FYSB is what motivated me to join their Auxiliary Board.  If I’m going to give back to the community it’s going to be to an organization that I know from first-hand experience makes a real difference in people’s lives.



I have the best job in the world because I get to have new moms proudly show me their coupons and see how excited they get about how they’re going to spend them.  Moms-to-be are eager to tell me what they did to earn their coupons because they know that it was something beneficial for their baby’s health and well-being.


 So many young parents today do not have the financial resources or the family support that can help them purchase a crib or even diapers.  It’s like a weight is lifted off their shoulders to know that their baby will get these items they can’t afford.


 They also appreciate the homey and relaxed environment at The Tot Shop which makes their shopping experience so pleasant.  They get to forget their troubles when they visit and redeem their coupons and shop with joy!



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