Michael* was a 16-year-old with great spirit but a tough history when he arrived at Nexus-Mille Lacs. His life had been challenging. He had been shuffled in and out of multiple homes, got involved with the wrong crowd just to have a sense of belonging, and struggled to manage his mental health issues. He needed the therapy, tools, and guidance to help him move forward and live his best life.
He also needed the chance to be a kid.
It was Michael’s dream to be part of a football team and, one day, the local high school football coach stopped by Nexus-Mille Lacs to pay him a visit. He asked Michael if he was interested in joining the team.
Michael was so excited about this opportunity and gave the coach a resounding “yes!” immediately. He was on cloud nine and every day leading up to the start of the season all Michael talked about was football. He couldn’t wait to be part of a team!
Then it came time to purchase football cleats. Michael was crushed – he only had twenty dollars to his name - not nearly enough. He desperately turned to the Nexus-Mille Lacs staff for help.
Thanks to generous donors who wanted to make a difference in the lives of youth facing challenges, funds were available to purchase the cleats for Michael. He was ecstatic! He couldn’t believe someone would do something so kind. As he prepared to go shopping, our staff asked Michael if he wanted to first see what sort of cleats his teammates would have. He responded “I don’t care what they look like. I don't need the best. I just want to play.”
Michael was getting the therapeutic support he needed at Nexus-Mille Lacs, but he also gained something very special – the knowledge that even strangers care enough to help his dream become a reality!
*Name and some details have been changed to protect privacy.