The PALS Program (Preparation for Adult Living Services) helps at-risk young people transition to a successful adulthood. Managed by the Central Plains Center for Services and funded by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, PALS has helped the youth it serves make significant gains in education, employment status, housing, health and community engagement.
PALS Specialist Lisa Hartman shared a success story about a remarkable young woman, who overcame addiction to find education, employment, and stability.
“Sara has been in PALS for over three years and is one of the “long timers”. She came to Omaha from Western Nebraska to participate in a treatment program for drug addiction. Because her immediate family lived in the western part of the state, she relied on her PALS specialist and her sponsor for much
of her support. Following a successful discharge from the treatment program, Sara lived at Embassy park, a type of transitional housing for recovering addicts. This was her first real experience with being out on her own. She felt this was a good option because the housing also included support staff. Once
there, she started college at Metropolitan Community College and attended AA and NA meetings up to 4 times per week. She has maintained her sobriety the entire time in PALS and this continues to be a tremendous point of pride for her.
She also is the proud mother of a 2 year old son and recently got married. Additionally, in December she earned her Associates of Arts degree from MCC. Sara is a great example of how barriers our young adults face can be torn down with support from adults and personal perseverance. We are very proud of Sara and her willingness to face her health challenges head on and to overcome barriers day by day.
Again, this case highlights that the young adults we serve require support in many areas. PALS likely would have been of very little benefit to Sara if she had been unable to first address her chemical dependency issues through the assistance of her treatment community. Rarely do life’s obstacle present
themselves one at a time, so we have to rely on our expertise, combined that of our community partners, to improve the outcomes of the young adults we serve. Together we are making a difference.”