Scholarship Winner Says Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Inc. Helped Her Improve Her Health and Grades

This story is part of an ongoing series featuring the 2018 Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education Scholarship award winners

People who have combatted a serious illness will tell you it affected most if not every aspect of their lives. For Kayla Greer, years of behavioral health struggles made high school and home life extremely difficult.

That’s why Kayla is grateful to Roanoke Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Inc. She said YAP provided the support she needed to improve her health, family relationships and grades. YAP serves as an alternative to institutional confinement, delivering behavioral health services in individuals’ homes and communities.

“I had been in therapy for a year or two prior to YAP, but it wasn’t helping. That’s when we decided to try somewhere else,” Kayla said. “When I first started, I didn’t have motivation for school and I was really struggling. I’ve been with this program for over a year. I’ve made a huge improvement.”

This month, Kayla starts a new chapter at Virginia Western Community College, where she plans to begin her studies in Early Childhood Education. She recently learned she will receiving a $1,000 2018 YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education scholarship to help her get started.

“I’ve learned to talk about the things I’ve been through and have been more open with my family than I used to be,” Kayla said. “I’ve talked about things I never thought I would and have dealt with it in a better way than I would have a couple years ago.”

Kayla’s YAP counselor and team of advocates have seen her progress firsthand, in her personal relationships and academic life.

“When first meeting with Ms. Greer, she was struggling to complete assignments and had little to no investment in her academic performance,” stated Kristi Cales, Kayla’s Roanoke, Va. YAP Clinical Supervisor in recommending her for the scholarship. “Over the course of treatment, Ms. Greer has greatly improved her grades.”

On top of that, Kristi said Kayla graduated high school a year early.

While she has received some financial aid to assist with her tuition, Kayla said the YAP scholarship will ease the burden of covering the cost of books and other expenses.