My name is Belrycklah Jean-Baptiste. Everyone calls me Bella. I’m 20 years old. I was born and raised in Haiti. I came to America when I was 15 years old and I was placed in foster care at the age of 16 years.

I joined the Youth CAN! program to help me stay connected with people that can help me in the future. Also it’s great to make good connections because you don’t know where life can take you. However, I meet a lot of great people and learn from them and through them.

While I was attending the program I was having problems at the time but it didn’t stop me from continuing the program. The program served as a welcomed distraction from the problems at home and helped me stay focused and motivated about my life and career and not stress out. The environment was fabulous because everybody was friendly and cared about me and cared about one another.  I’m very proud of myself for completing all the program because it was a bit challenging for me. Thanks to the staff for helping me especially since they did not know what was going on at my house.

After I graduated from this program I got placed in an internship at Franklin General Hospital LIJ. I completed a very successful four months there with some great staff.  I was very excited and grateful. I was also very proud of myself for accomplishing this point in my life.

I was thrilled to get hired as a part-time Nutrition Aide/Dietary Clerk after one month. Now I can say I’m ready to build up my life without having someone to destroy it. This program opened the door for me to be someone in the society and to meet wonderful people that can help me out mentally and educationally. I would like to thank every staff member from NYFC, CLI, FEGS,  NSLIJ and Walgreens for their support and more.