Austin, Age 19, Monticello
Around the age of 15, Austin’s world was turned upside down. His mother passed away and with no other family to care for him, he was put into foster care. He bounced around attending 12 different schools. “I grew up faster than most,” Austin said. He was alone and trying to find a place to belong.
At the age of 17, Austin was placed in Vera Lloyd’s transitional program, where he stayed until he graduated high school. He credits staff members with teaching him the things he needed to know for everyday life. “I learned how to communicate with others, manage money and how to live in a household with others,” Austin said. “Now I just have to figure out how to do my taxes!”
Austin graduated from Monticello High School in 2015 and enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He’s currently studying nursing and is involved in many activities on campus. “Being at Vera Lloyd gave me the guidelines and basics I needed,” Austin explained. “It gave me the foundation and now the rest is up to me. But I’m glad that the people at Vera Lloyd are just a phone call away.”