Crystal was exposed to so much in her childhood. Sex, drugs, alcohol…it was all a part of her painful story.

When Crystal was fifteen, her mom dropped her off at school and never came back to pick her, or her three younger siblings, up. Crystal had taken on the role of the caregiver to her younger siblings, like many of the oldest in abusive home settings.

 After a few years in foster care, she got the opportunity to attend Teen Leadership Camp. She told the camp director “I really don’t like leaving my house or my siblings; but for me, TLC is the most calming, caring, accepting place I have ever gone to.”

In her own words:I love the first day of camp because it’s clear that people actually care about us and want to help. It’s a weekend full of love and kindness that is impossible to forget. On Friday night the speaker told us we are precious to God and we have value and purpose. Saturday morning we do high ropes, it is a time to help us conquer our fears. I love how everyone cheers each other on. We all want to succeed.  I learned that God reveals His purpose and plan for us and we just need to have faith. Life is not always the way we want it to be, but we can still trust God and believe.