Transitional Living Turns 21-Year-Old's Life Around

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Transitional Living Turns 21-Year-Old's Life Around

Shayd (pronounced “Shade”) had a challenging childhood, to say the least. By the time he was 21 years old, he had already spent a total of eight years in Wisconsin Juvenile Corrections. And as he moved into adulthood, he began making decisions that could have damaged his young life beyond repair—had it not been for Orion Family Services.

Shayd was referred to Orion Family Services’ transitional-living program, a specialized service that helps 18- to 21-year-olds become self-sufficient, independent adults. The program, which works in conjunction with the Department of Juvenile Corrections and through referrals, helps formerly troubled youth transition smoothly back into the community, and into successful adult lives.

Orion works with young adults for anywhere from six to 12 months. It provides vocational training as well as educational and social resources. For Shayd, this meant finding an apartment, landing a dream job and finally finishing school.

As soon as he entered the program, his case manager, Jessica Grantman, quickly planned a course of action to help him get his life back on the right track.

“Shayd needed to find a job, and build location and resources in the area,” Grantman said.

Through Orion’s residential-assistance program, she was able to help him find his own apartment and begin living independently. The residential-assistance program helps young adults deal with problems that arise in the early stages of adulthood. It teaches critical life skills such as budgeting, problem solving, career development and apartment hunting, plus handling personal relationships and community interaction.

“Connecting the client to the community in meaningful ways is significant to client success in re-entering and becoming contributing, law-abiding members of society,” Grantman said.

Through Orion’s transitional job-placement program, Shayd explored his interests in hospitality management, and landed a job at Marriott International.

He is currently pursuing a degree in business management at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wis. He has already founded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa fraternity and earned recognition on the dean’s list.

With Orion’s help, Shayd has even bigger goals for the years ahead.

“In five years, I see myself managing a hotel resort, finalizing my associate’s degree and beginning my bachelor’s degree,” Shayd said. “I’d also like to have half of my mortgage paid off.”

Shayd says he shares his story in hopes of empowering others to work with Orion.

“The rapport and encouragement from Orion was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced," Shayd said. “That’s what truly kept me going. Orion gave me all the means necessary to meet all my goals and live comfortably."


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