Destiny came to Methodist Children’s Home in the summer of 2022 with her twin brother, Devin. The two 16-year-olds are the youngest in a family that consists of five sets of twins. MCH has become a haven for Destiny after a health crisis disrupted her homelife.
“Destiny and her brother came to MCH because their mother had some serious health issues which led to loss of work and financial hardship,” explained Emily Stambaugh, Destiny’s case manager. Transitioning to MCH was not easy for Destiny.
“When I first came to MCH, I really didn’t know what to think about everything,” Destiny admitted. “I thought we would just go to school every day and then go back to the house and do chores.”
What she found instead was a staff intent on meeting her needs, a school environment in which she could flourish and catch up, and more than enough activities she could explore.
“I didn’t know there would be so much going on, that it would be as fun as it is with all the activities,” she said. “This summer, especially, we had so much to do with camps and events.”
Looking back on the year she has spent at MCH, Destiny knows the nurturing environment has helped her grow as an individual, especially by having adults in her life interested in her well-being.
“At first I was closed off and didn’t really trust anyone,” she said. “I disliked a bunch of people and staff right away without trying to get to know them.”
Teresa Benavides, one of her home parents, said, “Destiny stole my heart. She was very quiet and very shy at first. I told her she has what it takes to be a leader. I try to encourage her a lot to keep her head up high and remember she can be or do anything she wants in life.”
Destiny said she has grown to cherish staff “who really try and connect with us, even if it’s something like making our favorite food.
“I didn’t think adults really tried to understand kids or get in their life, so it feels so amazing to receive this kind of attention where adults really care about me and want to know me and help me,” she said.
Destiny has participated in volleyball, basketball and track, where she competed in discus and ran on the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams.
“If they brought back the powderpuff football, I’d love to play that, too,” she said, adding how proud she was to receive athletic letter patches at the yearend awards ceremony.
Destiny said being at the MCH charter school has helped her as she works on her credit recovery.
“The teachers really work with students to help them succeed, whether in test prep or giving extra tutoring,” she said. Destiny is intent on catching up on coursework so she can regain her standing as a junior in high school and graduate with her age group.
“After graduation, I have thought about joining the Army like my sister, who is stationed in Hawaii,” Destiny said. “But I would love to go to college and get a degree, too.”
Jeanne Ashley, another of Destiny’s home parents, said she encourages Destiny and the other girls in the home to believe in themselves, because they are unique and special.
“Destiny is such a sweet and smart young lady,” Ashley said. “She has what it takes to go places in life. She is one of a kind.”
Destiny believes she is on the right track at MCH.
“MCH is a good place for me,” she said. “They have cared for me and given me opportunities that I never would have had otherwise.”