Hannah Cox is the daughter of our board secretary, Angela. Hannah is a student at Grand Canyon University majoring in English. She knows first-hand that challenges and setbacks can be difficult in young adulthood. Thankfully Hannah has a supportive family but the youth in WAY Alliance have nowhere to turn. We are committed to providing a support system so youth have a place to land during the hard times.
For over six years I have had the opportunity to live at home and pursue my college education online while I struggled with grief and health issues. The typical college experience was not in the plan for me. No matter how hard I tried to pursue it, my emotional and physical health needs brought me back home every time.
My parents have been my constant cheerleaders through every hurdle on my collegiate journey. When my grandmother died, I needed space to process and grieve, they welcomed me back in and provided an environment where I could pursue counseling and take some online classes. A little over a year later I was back on the college campus but was suffering with my health. I was angry, all I wanted was to make friends, memories, and receive my degree. My mom wrote me letters daily while I was on campus. I knew that no matter how bad I felt physically, I had comforting words waiting in my mailbox.
Sadly, I didn’t make it through a full semester before I was back home with the diagnosis of a congenital chest wall deformity that required surgery. Again, my parents both welcomed me back and encouraged me as I pursued online classes, recovered, and struggled with surrendering my ideas for the reality before me. Online college was the only way I was going to be able to complete my degree and take care of my health.
I have continued to struggle with feeling behind as a four year degree will take almost eight years to complete, but my parents have never once validated those thoughts. They have validated my abilities and the beauty of my journey through their support and provision. I am truly thankful that I have two faithful supporters in my life in everything I do, but I know there are many young adults who do not share my story.
How WAY Alliance Helps
One of the purposes of WAY Alliance is to provide mentors to young adults who have aged out of the foster system. Their mentors will be there to encourage and support them as they pursue their dreams, helping them become all they hoped to be. At WAY Alliance mentors come alongside young adults and help them realize and encourage their unique abilities and gifts, enabling them to go out and live a life they may have never experienced otherwise. WAY Alliance will not be able to replace the years void of encouragement and support, but the mentors on hand can provide an opportunity to turn the story towards a future filled with hope and support for the life they have yet to live.