Sunrise Helps Glen Dale Center Resident Change Her Future

Jayla loves to create, inspire, and make others smile. But when she was admitted to Sunrise’s Glen Dale Center in Elizabethtown on February 7, 2018, there wasn’t much for her to smile about. Jayla arrived with a history of neglect and sexual abuse.  She also had endured a house fire with her family in 2014. A couple of years after that, her mother was injured in a car accident, resulting in permanent scars. As a result, Jayla feared she would lose her mom. Academically, she struggled to attend school and keep up with her classwork. Eventually, she became truant.

As a new client at Glen Dale Center, Jayla displayed initial resistance to even being there. “The only thing on my mind was going home,” she expressed. “I was in a new place with new people, and wasn’t comfortable at all.” She was quick to voice what a wonderful opportunity it was for other teenage girls to come to the program and receive treatment . . . just not her. “The way I viewed it, what they were doing here was great,” she began. “But I didn’t think I needed it. I was close with my family, and they were my entire support system. I thought, ‘How am I supposed to get better without my support system?’”

In time, Jayla began to discover that the staff and other residents at Glen Dale Center could be her new support system. She learned that she could step back from her chaotic life and truly focus on personal issues. She even discovered that making things was a great way for her to deal with stress. And she was able to set goals for herself as she engaged in therapy and focused on her school work. “I was also able to tell myself that I wouldn’t be here forever, and that the work I accomplished here would not be regretted.” She explained, “Instead of looking at being in a locked facility as a negative thing, I took the opportunity and turned it into something positive.”

What she has learned for herself, Jayla has shared with others at Glen Dale Center. “I try to set an example on how to react in certain situations,” she explained. “I remind the girls on why they’re here, and that they can control when they get out.” The most noticeable thing she has done as a Glen Dale Center resident is be a positive influence. “I try to not be the bad part of someone’s day,” Jayla began. “Being someone who can make others smile is better than being the one who makes them cry. It brightens my day to brighten others, and I don’t see the point of wasting a perfectly good life by being negative all the time.”

Jayla has certainly not wasted her life. She has learned that she will earn enough credits to graduate from high school this May. She plans to walk the line with other local graduates to receive her diploma and is considering attending one of the Empire Beauty Schools this year. She recently went with her Sunrise case manager, Rachel White, to tour the Elizabethtown location. Jayla has a dream of owning her own beauty shop with her best friend.

Jayla has definitely benefited from the discipline and structure she received during her brief time at Sunrise’s Glen Dale Center. But what has she benefited from the most? Jayla thoughtfully answers, “The time I got here to focus on myself, better myself, and think in a sober mind, is an opportunity that saved my future.”

Because of your gifts to Sunrise, we are helping to create positive futures for even more young people seeking direction and purpose. Thank you for investing in the lives of hurting kids in Kentucky and for believing that, through God’s help, true transformation can occur. Jayla is just one of many examples.

Written by David Lyninger, Sunrise Associate Director of Communication.

Jake Pelfrey