At her going-away party, several of our girls shared the things they'll miss about Cierra. Her smile. Her jokes. Her poetry. The way she made up words during pep talks.
When she came to Cunningham 18 months ago, she often hit, screamed and tried to run away. She experienced horrifying hallucinations and intellectual struggles which caused her to be aggressive. Through Cierra's hard work, and that of Cunningham staff, she has learned to "talk out" rather than "act out" her fears and frustrations. She has found ways to cope with mental-health issues.
Cierra's improvements are remarkable. Last year, she started attending an Urbana public school part time. While working with infants in a daycare facility, she discovered a love for children. She served as a Peacekeeper at school and a Chapel leader at Cunningham.
Words like couragery, a combination of courageous and bravery. Cierra has shown both during her time at Cunningham.
Chaplain Melvin and the girls from Cierra's unit share their favorite memories and words of support at her going-away party.
As she moves on in her journey of healing, she will take couragery with her. Cierra is moving to a home that will provide additional training and support so she can learn to live as an independent adult.
Hope begins here...and continues with lots and lots of couragery.
We wish you all the best Cierra!
Cierra's made up word hangs in her old unit, reminding all of her peers to be courageous and brave each day.