Brayden is a 20-year-old boy who started coming to Austin17House in 2019. He had struggled with mental illness, as many of our youth do, and had attempted to end his life four times before coming to A17H. He was very quiet, and shy. He hardly ever talked or made eye contact with anyone, but he kept on coming. Six short months later, Brayden performed a solo, on stage in front of an audience of 200.
His experience in his own words, “The most important memory I have would probably be the first performance I ever had here. Something I will never forget. Because before that I was more quiet than probably a church mouse but now I’m a lot more outgoing than I ever was in the past. And before I came here my mind was in a super dark place. I was in and out of mental hospitals so many times, then I stepped through this door once and immediately felt like a changed person.”
His mom Kim shares, “We saw a huge difference in Brayden after he started going to A17House. He isn't lying about the impact it has had on him. He still has rough days now and then but the difference is huge and we are truly grateful.”
FROM OUR YOUTH
"It's a place where you feel safe and you're not judged, and you're not going to get bullied …a place I would belong." "It's like a second home to a lot of kids.
L, a youth at A17H, said she has struggled with depression in the past.
Today, she's outgoing and self-confident.
"This place honestly saved my life..."
"It saves a lot of people.”
Union Leader 2023