Watch Michael’s path of courage from foster care to a foster parent.
Also, below you can read some of Michael’s words about his time in foster care and at Coyote Hill.
I want to share my story and how Coyote Hill has impacted my life. I think it’s important to know the difference you make when supporting Coyote Hill.
In 2004, my two younger brothers and I came to Coyote Hill. I was 15 years old. We had gone through a lot in our lives. We saw alcoholism, lost our mother to cancer and had suffered abuse. As you can imagine, it was a lot for us to handle.
Coyote Hill didn’t just provide us with food and shelter. They are not just a place of maintenance. They go the extra mile to make sure they provide a loving, supportive family life for kids that doesn’t involve adult problems. There’s a sense of safety and security, which is often what’s needed the most. When you support Coyote Hill you are caring for these kids. With your support Coyote Hill is able to not only care for these children, but also offer them opportunities to experience things they otherwise may not have had the chance to experience.
I remember being 16 years old at Coyote Hill. At that time, I may have told you that they were too strict, but being an adult and parent looking back on it, I honestly don’t have one negative complaint about my time there. In fact, I have many fond memories of being there that I can look back and smile about.
When I was 18 years old, it was time for me to leave Coyote Hill and start my journey on my own. I was excited, but also scared, especially since at that time I didn’t have parental figures to guide me. I thought I would be facing the next chapter of life all on my own, but the people at Coyote Hill stayed in touch with me. They helped me apply for colleges, took me on a college tour and walked me through the process of enrolling. They checked up on me, offering support, and even purchased a set of new tires for my car for Christmas so I could get back and forth from school safely.
When I was 24 years old, I received a call that there was abuse found in my younger brothers’ adopted home, so they moved in with my family. They were both teenagers at the time, 14 and 16 years old, so fostering them was a lot of responsibility to take on as a 24 year old. To this day, people from Coyote Hill offer my family support and advice. Because of the great support system our family has had, one of my brothers has graduated high school and began a successful career in the military, becoming a Systems Intelligence Analyst. The other brother is graduating high school this month, and is following in his older brother’s footsteps and has joined the military as well.
Because of the support and guidance offered from Coyote Hill, I was put in positions to succeed and learn how to have healthy relationships. I was taught accountability and how to work towards a goal. I have used what I’ve learned to become a successful adult, with a beautiful family and a ten year career at a great company, Storage-Mart.
Coming through the system, I can confidently say that there is no other place like Coyote Hill. Knowing that I had no parental support, they stepped in to make sure I had the guidance I needed. I’m only one child out of many that have been impacted by Coyote Hill, but there are so many others out there who need or will need help. Coyote Hill will not only be there to take care of these kids, but will give them something to smile about during their tough times.
The most practical way you can impact the lives of children like Michael who desperately need what Coyote Hill offers is to become a Parent Partner. The consistent, monthly support of our Parent Partners is changing the lives of children in our community.