Watching teenagers make choices that will impact their lives in a positive way for years to come always makes us at YouthZone incredibly proud.  Recently, a young woman working with YouthZone, Danni, made some important decisions that will affect her future for the better.

Courtney Dunn, case manager at YouthZone, began working with Danni after she was issued a minor in possession of marijuana charge.  Danni had her share of troubles in the past, including having spent a lot of time in and out of foster care due to both of her parents having spent time in jail.  During Courtney’s assessment with Danni, she was quite surprised that Danni hadn’t found her way to YouthZone before, simply due to her unstable family life.

Despite having the odds stacked against her, Danni has always been quite resilient and a hard worker. She was working nearly a full-time job while attending classes at Yampah High School.  However, there came a point when Danni’s educational goals started to fade and she began missing classes, as she felt that finishing high school was irrelevant.

“Danni is a hard worker and she was spending a lot of time at a job where many of her older co-workers hadn’t finished high school, and she felt like all of them were making a good living, despite not having a diploma,” said Dunn.  “Her support system at home just wasn’t there, as her mom wasn’t persuading her to finish high school or conveying the importance of graduating to Danni.”

However, Angela Roff, prosecuting attorney for the Rifle Municipal Court, wasn’t going to just let Danni slip through the cracks. She provided Danni with some valuable information, and YouthZone made and attended an appointment with the school with Danni. After meeting with school officials, Danni was able to work out an arrangement to continue working at her job while also finishing her coursework.  Proudly, Danni graduated this past May.

“With a high school diploma in her hand, Danni now has opportunities that simply wouldn’t have been available to her had she not graduated,” said Dunn.  “Now, she’ll be able to attend trade school or community college down the road.  I really think in a few years, she will realize how important graduating high school was and she’ll be so glad she finished!  And, even her mom is now very proud of her for all that she’s accomplished.”

All of us at YouthZone are pretty proud of her, too!