Emily is one of about 5 million American children of parents who are in jail or prison. When she was eight, being away from her incarcerated mother had taken a serious toll on Emily’s mental health. Her aunt and grandmother connected her to Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. The national nonprofit provides community-based services in 30 states and the District of Columbia as alternatives to youth incarceration and out-of-home congregate care. YAP also partners with cities to offer communities alternatives to violence.
At age 8, Emily began receiving mental health services from YAP. At age 15, Emily is going public with her story. It’s her way of thanking her family and YAP Mobile Therapist Laurann Hoover for never giving up on her. Emily wants young people who are struggling with mental health challenges to know that with support, there is hope for a bright future.
She appears in the video posted above produced by NEPA Gives, a June 4, 2021 24-hour giving extravaganza to raise funds for a group of Northeast Pennsylvania nonprofits, including YAP. Learn more about YAP at YAPInc.org.