Former Child Focus Student Gives Back
Kelsey T., happily married and working her way up the corporate ladder at a national accounting firm with global entities in Denver, wanted to go back home to visit. Her reason for going home to Cincinnati, Ohio was to see family and friends but she felt she had an even bigger reason to come back. She wanted to go back to her old school to meet with old teachers and therapists, but she also wanted to meet with and inspire the current students there by sharing her story with them. Graduating eleven years ago from Child Focus’ Wasserman Center, a day treatment program for ages 3-adult, Kelsey hadn’t always felt like she would have or even deserved a successful future.
Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Epilepsy at age 8, Kelsey struggled with communication, building and maintaining healthy relationships and self-confidence. She wasn’t sure she would graduate from high school or make it to age 18. “I had a lot of barriers and obstacles in my way and, at times it felt very overwhelming,” says Kelsey. “Being able to identify my strengths and weaknesses in therapy and group was really helpful to me and just having someone believe in me while believing in myself was huge.”
Someone who at times could not even speak loud enough to be heard and shuddered at the thought of speaking in front of audience, absolutely glowed as she shared her story with current Wasserman students. Students nodded heads in agreement as she talked about making and celebrating little changes and the importance of setting personal limits. Her presentation was followed with questions, laughs and gratitude from students and staff, including several who knew her as a student.
It has now been eleven years since Kelsey graduated from Child Focus Wasserman Day Treatment. She later went on to graduate with a Business Certificate at Live Oaks Vocational School, and took college courses, “It is funny to think how communication used to be such a struggle for me and now I thrive on and excel in it, working full-time as an Executive Assistant to a 140-person office including supporting 7 partners. The best part is that I have pushed every limit I can in the right way and it really shows. I want kids struggling today to know that anything is possible the harder you work at it. I really am living proof it’s possible.” Kelsey explains.
She attributes her success to her early days at Wasserman and continuing to stay active and engaged in treatment and medication services to manage her Depression, Anxiety, and Non-Epileptic Seizures. Kelsey is a proud alumni of Child Focus Wasserman Day Treatment and has offered mentorship services to current students so she can continue to give back. Dr. Laura Stith, Chief Clinical Officer at Child Focus, shares, “Kelsey is a true inspiration. Her willingness to share her story with the youth at Wasserman has given many of them encouragement to keep working in treatment and hope for their future.”