Maleya was a young girl caught in the crossfire of a highly contentious custody battle.
While her relatives all loved her, they could not make peace with each other. The family estrangement, constant fighting and custody issues made her lose trust in the adults in her life.
She also developed a high level of anxiety and stress-related health problems, which made concentration at school impossible. Without intervention, Maleya would have kept spiraling downward and never would have earned a diploma. Most importantly, she would have no idea of how to deal with relationship issues as she grew toward the age when girls begin dating.
Waiting to Exhale
The day Maleya moved into Bethel’s Poindexter Cottage, she was able to exhale for the first time in a very long time.
Change didn’t happen overnight. Maleya worked hard to catch up in school at Bethel Christian Academy, which offers the small classes and personalized attention specially suited for students in this kind of situation.
Her Bethel social worker and counselor worked with her and with her relatives, so everyone was on the same page and learning the same skills. Over time, Maleya learned to set healthy boundaries, form healthier relationships with each family member, and keep herself out of the middle of the still quarreling adults.
A New Look at Life – and a Car!
At Bethel, her House Parents Floyd and Deborah Richardson were great role models. They have been married for 38 years and have been House Parents for nearly 30 years. “We had the opportunity to watch her grow into a confident young lady,” Deborah notes.
Maleya also learned a lot from Missy Smith, A single House Parent who modeled what it was like to be a self-sufficient, Christian single woman. With help from her House Parents, Maleya got a job, worked hard after school and saved money. She learned to drive, got her license and even purchased a low-cost car someone provided for Bethel.
A Cut Above
At midyear, Maleya graduated with her high school diploma and was able to successfully reunite with her family members. She applied to cosmetology school and has been accepted. We may be biased, but we think she’ll be a cut above the rest of her class!