Age | 17

Photographer| Lisa Uesugi

This is Kim. I chose this person to photograph because she is my youth counselor and I feel I can be myself and stay safe and calm around her. When I’m with her my stress goes away. I like to go to the beach and watch movies with Kim. She is a person who is always there for me and picks me up when I am down. She is smart and fun to be with. “Kim, thank you for keeping me in line and making me a good person.”

I am very funny.
I can cheer people up.
I will be a marine and serve my country.

My photographer is Rico. He has been in the system for some time, but I met him about a year ago when he was placed in our program. He loves the ocean and I enjoy taking him to the beach to body surf and boogie board. He has a great sense of humor and loves to crack jokes and make me laugh. I am proud of Rico because despite all the obstacles and hardships he has endured in his young life, he is still making it through each day as best as he can. He can be challenging at times, but he allows me to process with him. I am very proud that he can turn to me for help with his problems rather than bottle them up inside. My dream for Rico is to realize his full potential and work hard to attain it. He has frequently talked about joining the marines, which I hope he pursues. “Rico, of all the clients in the program you are the one that gives me the most stress! However, I think you affect me the most because deep down I know what you are capable of and that you can turn your life around if only you try. I believe you are a good kid and that you just need a little push.”

Kim | Youth Counselor

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