Destiny candidly explains her past: I was fighting. I wasn’t going home. I wasn’t doing anything that I was supposed to.

By age 17, Destiny had stopped attending school and wasn’t living with her mother. She was arrested and placed on juvenile probation.

Through her juvenile probation officer, Destiny was referred to the YOU Boston Summer Program, where she worked on the Boston School Yard Initiative (BSYI) Bridge Team (Level II) within Transitional Employment Services (TES).  Without this opportunity, Destiny is clear that she “probably would have been in jail or dead.”

After that summer she began receiving case management services and set up her first Individual Service Plan (ISP) with her case manager, Kirsis Morillo. This exercise made a lasting impression, helping Destiny set her goals:

With my learner’s permit, it took me until I was 21 to get it. It kept coming up on my service plan and that was helpful for me. It was a reminder that I could reach some goals and still needed to focus on others. When we broke goals down into a plan, I could see how I was going do it, which is different than just saying I am going to do it. I got to learn how to reach goals.

Taking a rigorous course load to complete her degree by the time she was 19, Destiny earned her high school diploma at Josiah Quincy Upper High School. While focusing on her credential, she also rebuilt her relationship with her mother. Destiny openly credits Kirsis with providing her the moral support needed to reach these achievements,

I knew that I could trust Kirsis, and it taught me that I could trust people. Not everyone is trying to take advantage of me, and I know they’re people out there that want me to succeed.

It has been four years since her referral from juvenile probation and much has changed. Destiny has explored a variety of pathways, including becoming a bricklayer. She ultimately decided to pursue cosmetology, and is currently enrolled in Roxbury Community College. She is currently enjoying her most recent success: becoming licensed under the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists.

The lesson she imparts to others,

Hard work and dedication pay off.