State: Leesburg, FL
Facility: Haven of Lake & Sumter Counties
Jillian initially came to Haven for help in coping with years of abuse. She began individual counseling and was then referred to the children’s group for adolescent peer interaction. It was then discovered that she was being physically abused by her then boyfriend (the biological father of her unborn son) while she was pregnant. Her self-esteem had already been affected by years of experiencing violence in her own home. Haven helped Jillian with several needs (i.e. food, clothing, gas, hygiene products, etc.) so she could stabilize her life and focus on her academics. (She is studying nursing.) Jillian also has a rare disorder called septo-optic dysplasia (SOD), which is characterized by developmental displays and mild to severe retardation. Needless to say, she has spent a great deal of time in hospital waiting rooms as a child. Jillian has been an asset to Haven’s children’s group. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Jillian aspires to be a nurse; she possesses that special nurturing quality. Jillian never complains to the staff about her issues or problems and remains strong in the face of adversity.