How PPAL has Helped Me

leaveshouseI know that Youth MOVE and PPAL are specified as a non-therapeutic group. That is because clinicians are not allowed to attend the groups or meetings. There is no therapy involved, yet they have helped me through a lot. They gave me a place to go when times were tough. I looked forward to going to the Youth Groups and attending the conference each year. That was possibly the only thing that kept me looking forward.

I’ve been home schooled for the past 2 years of my life because of issues with bullying. I remember being so afraid the first time Lydia and my sister Bella, also an intern, talked me into going to one of the youth groups. I hadn’t been close to kids around my age for awhile. I remember saying to Lydia that I was too scared and shy to be there.  Their exact words to me were, “Oh good, you’ll fit right in!” So with that I went into that youth room scared out of my mind but came out a completely different person.
I started to get excited to go to group each week! If I missed one on my own accord I’d feel bad – like my week wasn’t completed. It gave me a sense of hope in myself. I thought I’d never get to go into a place with other teens and come out alive. Without PPAL I may never had been able to fully go to a place surrounded by people and actually feel safe.

I started my internship at the age of 13.  I was glad I could be a help to the staff there. Lydia, Meri, Britt, Beth, Chandra, Pawel and others are all like a family to me. I’d gladly spend more time at the office than sitting around at home! I did simple things such as fold brochures, set up the room for group, make copies, clean up after group, and yet I was always thanked with so much enthusiasm.  It was nice to finally have something to do and I actually felt useful for the first time in a long while.

The main way PPAL has helped me is the support they have given me. I was able to pick myself back up thanks to the support I got from PPAL and Youth M.O.V.E.  I never could’ve accomplished so much without knowing that they were right there cheering me on.  Also, another important fact is they provided a place to go to get out of my house.  So to those whom it may concern, I do not go to the group for the pizza. I don’t even really like pizza. I go to see the family I have made there.

Ally C is an 8th grade student from Worcester, MA. She has been writing since a young age. Some of her hobbies include writing poetry and drawing. This is her first blog for PPAL.

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6 Responses to How PPAL has Helped Me

  1. Meri says:

    Ally you amaze me every day! Your voice, your dedication , your humor. We always love the energy your bring and especially your talents! Heck- You never broke that copier once- and for me I not able to touch it without jamming it… As you mentioned..

    You will continue to make many differences in the world- your parents and sister are wonderful role models and you to them! We all know that we consider you part of our Network- our family! Great blog Ally- keep them coming-you can offer sooooo much!!

  2. JoAnn Finegan says:

    I am so happy that this blog found it’s way to me. And that I took the time to really read it! What a wonderful story teller you are. You remind me so much of the story of my own daughter, who was bullied from the 7th to 12th grades in Parochial schools. She started a new job on Monday, and called to tell me about it. She said,” Mom, I have to remember that these people are going to be co-workers, I don’t have to be afraid of them”. She is now 28, 29 next month. But she now has a full time job, her own apartment, and is engaged to get married.
    Still sometimes those old demons come back out to haunt her mind, but she now has the ability to reconcile the positive from the negative, and get herself someplace in the middle again. She also has a very positive group of friends that help her as necessary.
    It sounds like you have so many positive people, and a loving, caring community that surrounds you. I wish I had known about someplace like PPAL when we were going through this situation.
    You WILL make a remarkable difference in the world, one blog at a time. Thank you for sharing your story for others to learn by.

    JoAnn

  3. Chandra says:

    Ally,
    Such a wonderful, insightful person you are! I’m glad you found support with PPAL and Youth M.O.V.E! And I want you to know that we’re glad and grateful that you’ve brought your strengths to us as well! Be proud of yourself- you’ve come so far, and you’ll continue to go further and further! 🙂

  4. Bella says:

    Ally,

    I love your blog post and I know how hard you worked on it! I can tell, I want to make sure you are aware that you are an awesome sister and an amazing person. I love you!

    Stay Awesome,

    Bella

  5. Lydia says:

    Ally, I still remember the day you walked into that youth room for the first time!!! And I am still SO GLAD you took that leap and began interning with us. Your professional development and leadership skills have come so far since we first met! You bring your bright ideas and deep compassion for others to the table every time, two strengths that make you a tremendous youth advocate. I am so proud to hear your share your story to help others and lead by example. I think Meri said it best – keep on sharing your story, because you have so much to offer!!!

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