Looking at her smiling face, you would never know that her family struggled with addiction, mental illness, and financial hardships. The eldest of three, she quietly assumed the role of caregiver for her sisters and parents. For the last 7 years, Delaney tried to bring balance to her troubled homelife, her school life was equally difficult. This environment produced depression, anxiety, and isolation, difficult nights at home were exacerbated by trying days at school.
In 2020, Delaney connected with an old family friend, who flew her to California. Delaney realized that she didn’t have the support she needed at home and made the difficult decision to leave her family in Missouri and moved to Pleasanton. Delaney credits her parents for supporting her choice to move away and her California guardians for encouraging her to pursue her dreams.
Enrolling at Amador Valley High School for her senior year, she received straight A’s for the first time in her life, enrolled in AP and honors courses and established a 504 plan for her ADHD and finally had medication to help her focus. Applying to Las Positas College, she came across difficult residency issues. Kelly O’Lague, Community of Character Board President contacted Las Positas President, Dyrell Foster, who helped solve the residency issue (helps to go to the top).
Delany shared, “Moving to California gave me courage to step out of my comfort zone. I know I can overcome every challenge I face. I want to build a career in pediatric psychology to help middle school-age kids with the same struggles I faced at their age. I have a renewed sense of purpose- I know I can make a difference in the world this way.” She also recognizes the wonderful faculty at Amador, her PUSD social worker- Brenda Montgomery, and others who helped in her journey.
Delaney currently volunteers with Z-Cares, a non-profit focusing on bringing awareness to mental health in youth through advocacy and education. She also participated in a new PUSD peer counseling forum called “Girl to Girl” giving young women a safe space to talk about matters of importance.
Congratulations to Delaney, what a transformation she made in her life, her future is bright indeed. Delaney allows us to share her story, knowing it can provide motivation for others.
A more complete story is on the website: www.CommunityOfCharacter.org