At EAC Network, we recognize the importance of our Family and Community Services to help our neighbors pay bills, resolve family and business conflicts, and navigate through obstacles that can hinder self-sufficiency. It is a challenging mission, but we continue to seek ways to improve our effectiveness by building collaborative relationships with our partners and contacts throughout health and human services, the criminal justice system, and the community at large.
Throughout our 50 years of service to the community, we have played a role in the success stories of many local individuals and families, like Victoria G., who made big changes in her life with the help of our Alternatives for Youth (AFY) program.
An EAC Network Success Story
Alternatives for Youth is a crisis intervention program that works in harmony with a number of Suffolk County agencies and departments to provide immediate intervention services aimed to help strengthen families and keep them together in times of crisis. This family and community-focused program has helped 8,000 families since 2005, including Victoria G. who credits it with changing her life for the better.
A Product of an Abusive Home Becomes a Published Journalist
“My name is Victoria G. You may have read my name in a Fox News byline or seen an article of mine pop up on your Twitter or Facebook feed.
Although I am a published journalist now, that isn’t where I began, and the path to get here was far from an easy one.
I grew up in an abusive home, where I lived from the age of six to about 14. My biological mother would hide my insulin, a medication I needed to survive, not allow me to use the bathroom, and starve me, among other physical and emotional tactics.”
EAC Network Provides a Helping Hand
“At age 14, the Family and Community Services of EAC Network came into my life and changed it for the better. My education was lacking; I was slacking, and I had no motivation to continue.
When Cassandra, my Peer Mentor, came into my world, everything changed. From taking me out for a cup of tea to letting me have the freedom to discuss what was going on in my life, I began to find myself and I realized something was really, really wrong at home.
I began to find respite and asked for help getting out of the situation I was in. EAC Network’s Alternatives for Youth program introduced me to group homes, and coming from a hectic and terrible home life, I found them to be a safe haven.”
Victoria G. Begins to Thrive
“I could take my medication and I wouldn’t be hurt. I was happy. My grades excelled and so did I.
At 16, I was released from the group home and went to live with my aunt, who I consider my “real mother.” She went above and beyond to restore my life to normalcy.
I graduated from high school, got a job as a camp counselor, and went to therapy. I couldn’t have done it without Cassandra and the encouragement I got from the Alternatives for Youth program, which introduced me to the way I could change my life.”
Happy, Healthy and Living the Dream
“I am now in college, in a healthy relationship, and living my dream in New York City. I am happy and healthy, and I’ve become really good friends with Cassandra.
EAC Network’s Family and Community Services initiative took my life down the right path, because I was willing to work the program, not have the program work me.”
EAC Network’s Family and Community Services Helps to Launch a College Career
“The best advice I can give to anyone in the program is that your life now tells you absolutely nothing about your life later. Only four years ago, I was traveling from group home to group home, now I’m taking business classes.
You can change your destiny.”
Support Alternatives for Youth
Alternatives for Youth has served thousands of families since the program launched in 2005. To help other individuals just like Victoria G., support EAC Network’s mission with a donation.