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CHIL Youth Spotlight: Teyler

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

After her Grandma passed away, Teyler needed a safe place to stay. She remembers, “I was determined to find somewhere safe and a way to make her proud while she’s up in heaven. I needed a place that provides you with resources which is what CHIL does”.

“When I first got to CHIL I was nervous, because I didn’t know how it was going to work or anything. I was at another shelter for four days when Gwen (CHIL’s Senior Program Manager of Residential and Youth Development Services) came to talk to me and made sure I had a bed upstairs at CHIL. Since then, it’s been very good, as long as you stay focused and don’t get too comfortable. You have to have that motivation for what’s next because this is just temporary. I want everyone who stays here to have that positive mindset. You got to make sure you’re telling yourself ‘It’s going to be ok’. I had to tell myself that the other day when I was feeling down, that ‘it’s going to be ok’”.

“When I first got here,” recalls Teyler, “I saw somebody getting dressed for work and I overheard him saying he had an interview with the security company. So even though I hadn’t worked security before I thought ‘Teyler just try it out’ and it worked!” Teyler secured employment and since staying at CHIL, she has been working security in the evenings while going to school during the day, working toward her GED.

Teyler gets her work ethic and determination from her mother and grandma, whom she saw working hard to make ends meet and to care for her and her sister. Teyler started working at a young age to help support the family. “That gave me drive when I was working early on, to help contribute to the family and help my mom out. Since then,” says Teyler, “I’ve just felt that drive in my heart early on. If you see that in your parent it’s going to be inside you, you just have to do that.”

Teyler is grateful for everyone who has helped helped her at CHIL, “Camille and Arvette have big a really big help. Really all the ladies at CHIL, well also Donta because he helped me get my bed together when I moved in. There are no guarantees at other shelters, but the adults at CHIL really help us and it’s a blessing”.

“I’m blessed to have her [Arvette] as my case manager. When I first got here, I was scared and shy but she got me to open up. I went through something, in a relationship, that was hard. At first, I kept telling Arvette, ‘everything’s ok’, but eventually I broke down and opened up and it felt so good afterwards. My heart didn’t feel as heavy. Talking to Arvette felt like a release and really helped give me things to think about and work on”.

Thinking about the immediate future, Teyler says “My first goal this summer is my own apartment or my own room. I know I can’t stay here forever so I’m planning ahead and working on my next steps”.

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