How one Daybreak youth found his self-confidence

TravisIn September 2019 we sat down to chat with 23-year-old Travis. As you read, keep in mind that donors, through their gifts, play an important roll in Travis’ life.

Daybreak: How did you hear about Daybreak?
I was 14 years old and in foster care. Greene County Children Services took foster kids on a tour of Daybreak. I found myself needing Daybreak after I turned 18.

What happened that you needed Daybreak?
I was supposed to move in with my mother, but she died. I had a falling out with my father. I had a hard time finding a job because I’d moved around a lot as a kid. I went to 12 different high schools.

How did you feel when you first came to Daybreak?
I wasn’t too happy with life. I was losing hope and motivation quicker than I’d care to.

Have you been at Daybreak all this time?
I moved out of state for a while. I came back because I know how to be homeless in Dayton. I was staying at the St. Vincent’s men’s shelter and ran into Miss Sharmel (a Daybreak employee) in October 2017. Miss Sharmel got me back with Daybreak.

What’s been going on since you returned to Daybreak?
In January 2018 I started working at Lindy’s Bakery. I got my first promotion and raise in March 2018. That same week, I had my 22nd birthday and moved into one of the apartments Daybreak leases. In January 2019 I took over the apartment’s lease with a roommate, also a Daybreak youth. that didn’t work out, so I’ve been staying with a friend since July. Next week I’m moving into an apartment of my own. I’m really excited that it has a patio and a garden box.

How has your time at Daybreak changed you?
I have social anxiety. I’m pretty socially awkward. I mostly stuck to myself the first two months I was here. Then they asked me to take on a bigger role, as a shift leader, at Lindy’s. The staff’s constant praise and admiration of the work I do at Lindy’s has helped me come out of my shell. It’s been a big-time boost to my self-confidence. I was just a worker. Now I’m a leader. I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone here.

How’s life different for you now?
No matter what I’m going through, I try not to complain or focus on the negative. There’s a saying I like: Sure, the world’s on fire. But don’t the clouds look pretty? I don’t remember reading it anywhere, but I won’t take credit for it either.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to do a lot of travel and take pictures. Photography, mainly of landscapes and nature, is my passion. I want to become a flight attendant and get free travel. I want to take pictures and showcase the beauty of the world. The peaceful moments that aren’t noticed, the emotions that aren’t caught on to.

Any advice for others who find themselves in circumstances like yours?
Don’t become a victim of your circumstances. You alone are in control of the life you live and the way you let things affect you.

Is there anything you’d like to tell Daybreak supporters?
What you contribute doesn’t just affect the youth at Daybreak. You affect the community and the world. Because Daybreak helps youth become better versions of themselves and helps them realize their potential and capabilities.

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