Catholic Franciscan Volunteer Service Experience for Post-Graduate Young Adults | Syracuse, New York

Taylor mentors “at risk” girls

March 8, 2014

Taylor Shorten USE teaching

Taylor Shorten, FC 15

Taylor Shorten

Home:  Prospect, KY

Interests: Ballroom dancing, music, travelling

Studies: Boston College- Psychology

Service: Mentoring youth at Niño con Cariño in Alajuela, Costa Rica. This is a home where young girls from difficult situations can come during the week, live in a clean, safe and focused environment while going to school. They return home to family life on weekends.

Taylor Shorten 2 girlsCarolina is a strong and unapologetic leader among the girls at my placement site, Al Niño con Cariño. And she did not like me from the minute I began my work there. In our first interaction, she held her scowl in my direction until she was sure I received her message. But God made her vulnerable to me for just a moment and it changed everything. Sick and vomiting, I took up the role as her caretaker. She didn’t say a word until I kissed her cheek before leaving and she let slip a quiet “Gracias”. She let me in after that day, telling me of her abusive boyfriend and violent past, revealing her need for healing. She broke my heart, but also put it back together with her trust. God provides us with opportunities and the free will to make use of them. They don’t always come in the easiest or most obvious forms, but they are always there if you look for them.

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