“I was a kid with a lot of anger,” recalls 17 year old Luis Castro of Pennsauken, “I almost hurt someone I really cared about, that’s when I knew I needed help.”
In the spring of 2014 with the help of his aunt, Luis got connected with Center For Family Services IMANI Teen Partial Care program. IMANI is a structured after school program designed to support and encourage Camden County youth experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges and their families through counseling, workshops, educational outings, and so much more.
With the help of highly trained, enthusiastic staff Luis began to address his feelings and how to handle them.
“The group sessions and therapy helped me a lot. I learned how to deal with my problems and that it’s important to address them ahead of time instead of waiting until things go wrong.”
Luis and the other teens at IMANI also participated in groups focused on team work, emotions, substance abuse prevention, sexual education, and anger management.
A year later in April 2015, Luis graduated from IMANI, and he is ready to finish his junior year at Pennsauken High School. He has learned to control his anger and release the feelings of guilt he so often held inside. Luis is now focused on the future: his senior year, photography, and ultimately the military and a career in law enforcement.
“I came into IMANI with a lot of anger and guilt but a year later I feel like I’ve found my real self. Someone who is cooperative, helpful, and a leader. Coming to IMANI has impacted and changed my life.”