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Ready for the future: Youth thanks Elmcrest, staff

The following was written by D.S., 18, a resident of our Euclid Avenue boarding home in Syracuse. D.S. has overcome many life challenges while at Elmcrest. He is especially grateful to staff members Brandon McInerney, Kyle Pooler, Jeff Bonicky and Mike Begay. D.S. is graduating early so he can begin the next chapter of his life this spring.

D.S. loves the Dallas Cowboys

I first came to Elmcrest when I was 14 and originally, I was thinking, I was going to only stay for 6 months. I remember feeling nervous, bored and I felt I was not at the right place. I was placed at Elmcrest for around 2 years and during that time, staff helped me grow up and have a better attitude. I was discharged from Elmcrest to a foster home and this was initially okay but then turned negative. Words can’t express how grateful I am for Mr. Mac. I hit an extreme low point when I left and because of the support of Elmcrest and the advocacy of Mr. Mac., I was able to move into Euclid and this is where I have lived for the past year and a half. I have grown up a lot since I came back. Support from the EPIC program and getting a job with Mr. Bonicky, Mr. Pooler, and Mr. Begay, has taught me life skills for my future job like communication and great work ethics. I am graduating early this January and my plans are to move with a new family. I have a connection with a job at the Walmart Distribution Center, near Albany, and will work until I start college in the fall at Fulton Montgomery Community College. I plan to study criminal justice and with my degree, I want to be part of the police academy and then join the force. Elmcrest has supported me getting a job and going to college by giving me support from day one. I want to say thank you to all of Elmcrest for getting me where I want to be. Thank you Euclid for transporting me on the 4 hour drives, for keeping us in check during this pandemic and for the fun times!!