TEMPE YOUTH RESOURCE CENTER
~ Transfor~lation ~ Mark’s Transformation from transient to translator ~
Towards the end of summer a dashing young man strolled into the Tempe Youth Resource Center, we will call him Mark. He looked a little shy, a little intimidated, and very uncomfortable, letting us know he was new to this game. He quickly completed an initial intake, grabbed a few supplies and darted out the door. We did not learn much about Mark that day, or if we would ever see him again. But to our surprise Mark returned the next day, and the next! This shy young man quickly became a permanent and vibrant fixture in our center. In five short visits Mark met with the case manager, that’s when he really started to open up.
Mark had an interesting background, one that we don’t often see in the center. He was born in the United States but his family returned to their home in Saudi Arabia when Mark was between middle and high school years. Mark had the rare opportunity of growing up in two very different countries and cultures. Mark returned to the states to attend a community college, without his family. Unfortunately without family support Mark made some poor decisions. He quickly found himself not in school and without a home. This is where our adventure with Mark begins.
When Mark began meeting with our case manager and exploring possible life paths, other than his current “entrepreneur” lifestyle, doors and opportunities began to open up! We helped Mark capitalize on the gifts and talents that he already possessed. Mark applied on line for a job as a translator in Iraq. His middle school and high school years in Saudi Arabia had left him fluent in Arabic and acclimatized to the culture and traditions. It was a tough process of tests (verbal and written) and staying drug free before Mark could secure the job. He completed phone interviews and tests on the center’s phone, written tests on the center’s computer, and we assisted Mark in getting all his needed forms of identification. Mark was at the door when we opened and the last to leave at night, helping us clean at the end of the day!
Just 16 short days after Mark entered into case management services he boarded a plan for Georgia to complete his training to become a translator in Iraq with a contract company working with the United States Military! Mark before leaving said he was thankful he was able to come here daily not only stay away from the elements of nature, but the elements of the streets. Mark was of course referring to the drugs, violence and other negative influences he had previously been engaged with. He was able to find spiritual help within the community/ people and support from the staff at the center to reach his full potential.
Mark is an extraordinary young man, like so many youth he was unable to see his full potential. The center did not create any big change in Mark, we just provided the opportunity for Mark to change himself.
Mark called at the completion training just before leaving for Iraq. You could hear the difference even over the phone. Mark was proud of himself and he had others proud of him too!
The staff at TYRC wishes you well Mark and many more opportunities in the future!