Meet Robert, he’s a twenty-one year old fine arts major at Metro State, who also works full-time at his on-campus job in the supervisory role of Parking Coordinator. Not long ago he was a resident at Third Way Center. As a teen, Robert was having legal and family issues and was living with several different family members. Finally, at the age of 17 he was placed at Third Way Center by the Department of Human Services. He moved into our Pontiac House initially, then to our Lincoln Street Apartments, and finally to our after-care program, Next Steps, where he discharged successfully.
When Robert moved to Pontiac he was struggling, and he “didn’t know how to feel about being there.” But, moving through our programs, he began to “grow up a little bit” and “become more responsible.” He had already completed his GED before entering our Third Way Center, so he focused on getting a job. He found employment at Banana Republic which he held for quite awhile. Toward the end of his stay at Third Way Center, Robert knew he wanted to go on to higher education, but he didn’t know what his options were. The staff at Third Way Center helped him navigate the confusing processes of college applications, securing financial aid, and applying to live in the dorms. He transitioned from his Next Steps apartment to the dorms on campus where his college education and the beginning of his career on campus began.
Robert enjoys his courses in the fine arts and is proud of working his way up to a supervisory role at his job. About a year ago Robert also took the time to volunteer on Third Way Center’s Lowry Campus, helping residents at Hope Place by doing a cooking group, playing basketball with them and giving them hope that, like him, they could make it in the “real world.” His reason for volunteering — Third Way Center helped him and therefore he wanted to give back. Robert attributes Third Way Center to different successes in his life. He mentions that the independent living skills he learned here are the main reason he “keeps his own place clean now.” He, of course, appreciates all of the help he received navigating the higher education ropes, and his favorite thing about Third Way Center is simple but so important, having someone actually listen to him.