FDP came into Kay’s life at a pivotal moment – during her mission to become sober. Kay went to multiple rehab programs, lapsing in and out of drug usage, until her involvement with FDTD in 2014.
Right before FDP came into Kay’s life, she spent every day of rehab planning to leave. Kay said nobody believed she would overcome her addiction. She felt hopeless.
After the first FDP class on a Tuesday at The Teen Project, led by Melanie Buttarazzi, Kay’s outlook changed. Through FDP, Kay found the motivation to stay in rehab. Her fellow participants, and FDP staff, gave her the support she previously lacked.
Three years later, Kay remains sober, and she gives thanks to FDTD’s program for giving her the strength to find herself and continue in her recovery.
Nearly five months into FDP's program at Freehab, Frances came up to Melanie Buttarazzi after her weekly dance class. Frances said, “Melanie, I have to tell you something.”
“Do you know it’s easier for me to be on three streets, running from cops to find my next high, than it is to be in your dance program?”
But you taught me discipline because every time I tried to leave class, you wouldn't let me leave. You're the only person who taught me how to stick with something even when it gets hard. For that I want to thank you, because now I'm going to enroll in College and go to culinary school because I've always wanted to become a chef."
She said FDP taught her the guidance she needed to continue, even when she wanted to give up. As an at-risk youth, nobody else had provided her with the tools to learn that self-discipline, until FDP program.
Because of the program, Frances is currently in culinary schools and, finally, feels capable of sticking with her responsibilities to meet her goals.
ANDREA & TIFFANY
First Star, UCLA
Entering into the FDP program, Tiffany and Andrea were inseparable. As students at First Star, UCLA’s summer, residential academy, Tiffany and Andrea were 11th graders both involved in the child welfare system.
Before one of FDP’s classes, Tiffany and Andrea got into a massive fight – so massive that First Star staff considered canceling FDPs dance class that day.
While setting up for the dance class, Andrea and Tiffany walked in, together. They told Melanie Buttarazzi they made amends. They didn’t want to come into dance class fighting, so they sorted their differences.
Their story highlights the promotion of togetherness and friendship that youth participants build as part of the FDP program