My name is ___ and I am ___ with a child.

At 14, when most girls were worried about sleepovers and painting their nails I was working my first job just to make sure I had lunch money in my school account. At 17 when most girls were worried about their prom dress, I was homeless doing everything I could to make sure I graduated high school. I have always had to find ways to take care of myself. 

When I came to my first few circles at Project Legacy, I felt like I could finally breathe for the first time in a long time. I don’t know how else to explain it. Struggling and scraping by becomes so normal to so many people that we forget it’s not. I not only gained a solid support system but also a second family that I look forward to seeing every week at circle. All of the things in life that I felt were so far out of reach were actually right in front of me waiting for me to start taking steps towards them. I just needed someone to help me take that first step. I am capable. I am loved. I have support. I know all of those things now. I went from being the girl who had no parents sitting in the audience to hear my graduation speech and watch me walk, to being the girl with volunteers and newfound friends cheering me on every step of the way. For so long, I thought I was alone. I’ve learned now that there are so many other individuals who can relate to me because they’ve been through the same things I have been through. It’s so powerful to sit in a room with people who used to be homeless, attempted suicide, survived abuse, etc. and hear them say they’re on the Dean’s list at college or that they graduated high school, or that they’re one year clean. Not only am I moving in a positive direction, but all of the young adults who have experienced the same things as me, are now rising with me - and I feel like the luckiest person to be able to help lift them as they’re lifting me.

StoriesNate Nordstrom