Last Wednesday, the Betty K. Marler Youth Services Center held its first Alumni Dinner of 2013. To help celebrate their accomplishments, the eighteen former students who attended the dinner brought their mothers, fathers and grandparents with them.
Throughout the night, many of these young alumni discussed life since leaving the Marler Center. Topics ranged from school work and motherhood to living on their own. They shared their hardships and some of the challenges they've worked to overcome. Many also thanked staff for helping them during their stay and expressed gratitude for the skills they learned, which have assisted them through their transition.
One alumnus who attended, Meghan Chartier, talked about how she is following in her mother's footsteps by pursuing a degree in nursing while attending Metro State College of Denver. Since leaving the program about one year ago, Meghan has been employed and regularly volunteers at the local VA hospital. Eventually, she wants to start mentoring youth who are in the same position she once was. She spoke very highly of the program and staff at the Marler Center, saying her experience was the "best placement [she] ever had; [she] learned the most skills and it was the best use of [her] time." Meghan was especially grateful for the relationships she built with staff.
The Betty K. Marler staff host alumni dinners twice each year and continue to have great participation and support. In 2012, over 50 former students attended these events. Because of the continued dedication of the Marler staff, alumni were able to network with other former students, reconnect with staff, and share their trials and successes.