When life hands you lemons…

Written by Savannah Heck

You make lemonade.

Sometimes life takes you on journeys that you never expect, that change you for the better. Bettering yourself so that you can rise to the occasion is never easy but always worth it. The challenges that stand in front of you are surmountable, and the rewards worth every moment of stress.

This story shows that life only throws you what you can handle—despite how overwhelming it may be at first.

Brooke’s Story

Uncertainty. Brooke lived with it every day. Without support, single motherhood feels like freefalling. Then Brooke found OhioGuidestone’s Workforce 360°, and learned how to help her family. It began with an education through Workforce 360°, where she gained her GED. Our caring and dedicated staff helped achieve her goal, but Brooke found that she wanted more. She joined Workforce 360°’s STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant) program, and like more than 80% of Workforce 360° participants, she found a job. She built a financially secure future for her family. It gave her the hope that her future would only get better.

Seven years later, Brooke has accomplished more than she ever thought possible. When her mother passed during her schooling, she had OhioGuidestone Workforce 360° employees to counsel her through. She earned her LPN (licensed practical nurse) degree with their support. Her family grew to seven. She owns her own home. Her life continues to move forward with OhioGuidestone’s help.

As Brooke continued to progress, she found security. She was supporting her family, she found a loving husband, and was happy at work. Then she got a call. Her sister in law’s drug dependency had spiraled—she could no longer care for her two children. They were in danger. Brooke knew it was her time to help her nieces on their journey just as OhioGuidestone helped her.

Drug dependency is sweeping through the state, leaving devastation in its wake. OhioGuidestone is helping those with drug addiction with a unique mix of services, tailored to the individual’s needs. OhioGuidestone matches the individual with effective services that range from prevention to treatment that help break the cycle of addiction. These holistic services result in substantial changes in individual’s social connections and financial stability, contributing to long-term sobriety.

Without hesitation, Brooke and her husband accepted their nieces into their loving home. Though the girls found it difficult to adjust, they were finally safe. Brooke had offered the girls a new chance at life.

The newness of a foster home can be dizzying to a child, especially when they are medically fragile or have advanced needs. OhioGuidestone foster parents offer loving homes to children who are often victims of the drug epidemic in Ohio. Fifty percent of foster children in Ohio are there because of their legal guardian’s substance abuse. Our services provide 24/7 support to foster parents and the children in their care. OhioGuidestone’s foster families improve the lives of children with across the state of Ohio.

It soon became clear to Brooke that a loving home wasn’t enough to undo the damage of her niece’s past. They needed help—and Brooke knew who to call. OhioGuidestone stepped into Brooke’s life again.

OhioGuidestone’s Early Childhood Mental Health services focus on rebuilding the joy in a child’s life by teaching emotional, social, and behavioral skills. Services result in less anxious, more engaged children as well as improved parent child relationships. Our programs empower parents to create stable and safe homes. OhioGuidestone leads the state as experts in early childhood mental health interventions and treatment strategies, developing new tools and interventions to support families across the state.

Brooke is proud of her life. She knows that her hard work built a foundation that her family can grow on. As she progresses with her life, she knows that OhioGuidestone staff and services are there for her, and that they will never give up until Brooke and her family find the joy that comes with self-sufficiency and accomplishment. OhioGuidestone will move forward with Brooke’s family, together.

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