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Scholarship Essay

The Youth Advocate Program was a big part of my elementary and middle school life.  I began misbehaving in school.  I then started going to school with a wrapround on a daily basis.  They worked one on one with me to better myself in school.  Also at this time I was diagnosed with ADHD and found out that the two leading medications to treat ADHD and ADD would not help me because I was allergic to them.

Being in the program, I learned many things and techniques on how to manage my anger and people skills.  They helped me by taking me outside my comfort zones at times to introduce me to others.  During these times, they would let me go and watch me closely to see if I would do what they told me.  If I did not they would call me over and tell me what I did wrong, then send me back out to try to make friends again.

As well as working with me in school and in public, my wrapround would work with me in the home. I was very defiant and outspoken in my home.  They would check in with my parents on a weekly basis to see if I was doing my exercises such as counting to ten and making win-win deals.  Those would be where I would do what I was told and in return I would get to do something like go outside or get a sweet snack before bed.

My workers would do various activities to help me contain anger.  My first worker told me that when you get angry you give someone the remote to yourself.  When they see you're angry, they can control you and get you to get yourself in trouble.  So I have always remembered that when someone makes me angry and tries to get a response out of me.  I was also taught to "kill them with kindness."  This means that when someone is rude to you or trying to get a response from you, you are kind to them.

Being in the Youth Advocate Program has helped me to where I am today.  I believe that without the counseling I received I would be a menace to society and on a one-way path to destruction instead of the path of success I am now.

Nick's Reflection on his time at YAP

Nomination Letter

Mindy Hammond, Administrative Manager, former TSS

I am writing to express my nomination for Nicholas Barr for the Endowment Fund scholarship.  

I was the first TSS that Nicholas had through YAP.  I worked his entire 4th grade school year with him.  At that time, Nick was faced with many challenges.  He had anger issues and behavior issues.  Nick was the highest functioning member of his family at 11 years of age.  Nick grew up in a low income family.  He had many responsibilities at home, helping his mother, who had seizure disorder and was mentally challenged.  While his father worked a full-time job, Nick took on my responsibilities that were uncharacteristic of many 11 year old boys.  Nick learned to control his anger and redirect his frustration to more positive things.   

Over the years Nick has become a respectable young man.  He was involved in many sports activities at his high school.  Nick has always tried to stay involved in activities where he was accepted.  He has continued to grow with the skills that were transferred to him from his YAP workers.  His parents divorced.  His mom resides in a group home.  His dad has a new girlfriend with whom he just had twins.  Nick is currently living with his grandfather; his grandmother passed away in February 2012.  

Nick has been accepted to Robert Morris in Pittsburgh.  He plans to major in Business.  This young man has worked for everything he has.  He is basically taking care of himself.  He maintains a job at a local nursing home as a dietary aide in order to have money for his basic needs.

With the struggles that life handed him, Nick continues to have a positive outlook.  He is very positive about his future and he wants to succeed.  I hope that Youth Advocate Program as an organization can help this young man accomplish his goals.