In the late winter of 2021, Dontavius arrived at Nexus-Woodbourne Family Healing. Like many youth who come to us for residential care, Dontavius had a complicated history due to the effects of trauma. He was struggling with his family relationships, difficulties controlling his emotions, and an academic transcript that was equally challenging. At first, his transition into Nexus-Woodbourne was difficult, specifically around trust and understanding that our care team was here to support him and to help him through those difficult moments of wanting to give up.
PLanning HIs Future
As time progressed, Dontavius became eligible to join our Youth Work Program on campus. Through the program, he developed his soft job skills while also earning a paycheck and building his savings, which will support his transition from Nexus-Woodbourne. As he began to become comfortable, his desire to complete high school grew; however, with this also came feelings of anxiousness about whether he would be able to accomplish this milestone or not. Working with the Woodbourne School team, Dontavius set up a solid plan to help him obtain all of his needed credits to graduate, with the exception of his Spanish class. In collaboration with his educational county, the Woodbourne School and residential treatment teams were able to support him with evening on-campus tutoring support and evening online classes. With this structure and guidance, he completed his last remaining class.
As any youth would be, Dontavius was ecstatic and extremely proud of his tremendous accomplishment. His mind was always on his graduation ceremony and walking across the stage, so Nexus-Woodbourne set the stage for him. Creating a personalized ceremony, Nexus-Woodbourne came together to ensure that his day was perfect. As graduation day approached, Dontavius learned the devastating news that his mother would not be attending nor any of his relatives. He was heartbroken.
When the day came, all of Nexus-Woodbourne came to support and cheer him on as he walked the stage – from clinicians to campus facilities, to the entire student body. Dontavius proudly delivered his graduation speech in front of a hundred members of his Nexus-Woodbourne family and celebrated his accomplishment to a thunderous applause. As he spoke, he talked about the impact Nexus-Woodbourne had on him from the first day he arrived and the many relationships he built.
Today, Dontavius plays as the alumni member of The Woodbourne Bulls Flag Football Team and continues to work on his job skills. He will soon step out on his own as an adult, and while he may be transitioning into becoming independent without the support of his family, his Nexus-Woodbourne family will ensure that he will not be alone. He will take with him all of the healthy relationships he built during his healing process at Nexus-Woodbourne and the impact those relationships made on him. He will leave as a successful Woodbourne School and residential treatment program alumni, and his success will continue to impact our staff and the youth who supported him through his journey.
"Nexus-Woodbourne will always be grateful for the impact he had on us.”
- Woodbourne School Principal