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ASPIRE: Hope for Teens Facing Tough Times

The already-slim teenager lost 20 pounds and began to engage in self-injury. The behavior only added to Jordyn’s ongoing feelings of stress — she also suffered with a painful nerve condition that doctors had managed to treat but had returned. “On top of it, I had a seizure at school, and the girls said, ‘Maybe she’s pregnant,’ ” Jordyn recalls. “I had a mental breakdown.”

She awoke in a hospital, disoriented. Then her mother, Jessica, learned about After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education® (ASPIRE), an eight-week outpatient program that focuses on hope, giving teens powerful tools for coping when life’s problems become overwhelming.

Desperate to help her daughter, Jessica enrolled Jordyn, who was initially nervous. “But by the end of my first day, we were laughing,” the teen says. “These skills that I was learning, I used that night. I was motivated to learn more. I needed to radically accept that I can’t fix other people. I had to focus on myself.”

Jordyn took yoga, mindfulness, and expressive art classes. Meanwhile, her mother appreciated the parents’ group. “I spent the first parent group crying for two hours because for the first time, I felt like I wasn’t alone,” she says.

Now an ASPIRE graduate, Jordyn is taking on the world. “She’s a normal teenager,” Jessica proudly reports. “She’s driving a car. She’s doing homework. I’m excited to watch her journey though life.”

“ASPIRE changed my life,” Jordyn says. “Even my laugh is genuine now. I’m excited to graduate from high school. I’ve been accepted into New York Fashion Week as a model. I know I can do it, now that I’m healthy. I’m so happy to know that I’ve got these skills forever.”

Learn more about ASPIRE or to schedule an assessment, call 650-988-8468 or 866-789-6089.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.