Helping Youth

and Young Adults Find Their Place in the World





73%

73% of ASC students graduate
with a high school equivalency,
and 60% are either working
or in an internship.

Through comprehensive vocational training and supportive education programs, Vibrant’s youth programs help young people cope with their mental health challenges, pursue their education goals, and find their places in the working world.

CARLOS SALDANA

“Vibrant helped me turn my life around. Emotional wellness is possible when you have the right support. Thanks to Vibrant I am empowered with the tools I need to live a fulfilling life.”

—CARLOS SALDANA

Emotional wellbeing should be a reality for everyone. But some of us — like myself — need help getting there. The story of my recovery began the afternoon I walked into a “Big & Tall” men’s clothing store. Standing among a sea of XXXL shirts, I could see the toll my depression and anxiety had exacted on my health. I was at a crossroads.

When I was eight years old, my father died suddenly from liver cancer. Losing my dad, who had been my role model and best friend, plunged me into depression. It felt like nothing mattered any longer.

By the time I was 13, I had dropped out of school and rarely left home, spending my time playing video games and binge eating. By my 14th birthday, I weighed 300 pounds.

The day at the “Big & Tall” store was a pivotal moment. I could either continue down my current, destructive path or reach out for help. I made the most important decision of my life: I chose to believe in hope.

I enrolled in Vibrant’s Adolescent Skills Center (ASC) in Queens. My case manager, Cara, instantly made me feel accepted for who I was, not what I had done. With Cara and my teachers’ support, I earned my GED in just four months, giving me the confidence to believe in myself and to visualize a future with a steady job and a college degree.

Cara also helped me polish my resume, conduct practice interviews and look at local community colleges. Our efforts paid off. This fall I was hired as an escort at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan and I began taking college psychology courses.

Vibrant helped me turn my life around. Emotional wellness is possible when you have the right support. Thanks to Vibrant I am empowered with the tools I need to live a fulfilling life.

—CARLOS SALDANA, STUDENT, ADOLESCENT SKILLS CENTER