Helping Others Overcome Life’s Trauma
Many students arrive at Camelot’s alternative education programs after dealing with some tough blows in life. Camelot’s mission centers on helping those students overcome previous setbacks and moving them on a course for educational and life success.
Students at Camelot’s Chester Upland Academy in Chester, PA, are getting additional support from a 19-year-old young woman who has endured her own life trauma, shown resilience and thanks to others who supported her, come out stronger for it.
Jae’Ionah Handy has founded her own nonprofit organization called BRAVE. Having witnessed the murder of her mother in 2005 when she was six years old, she had a lot to get through. But the start of her turnaround came when she confronted reality.
“When you acknowledge your issues and problems…it’s a step toward getting better and reaching your full potential,” Handy says.
Jae’Ionah recently visited with Camelot’s Chester students, told her story and invited them to join her group to share support. (Watch the video here.) Many of the students were so moved they not only joined BRAVE but raised money for the group so that it could reach out and impact more lives.
“She’s very brave for coming here to tell her story,” said Alika Harvey, a senior at Camelot. “I feel as though her program is going to help a lot of people.”
Jae’Ionah has been doing meet and greets in the community, having parents bring in their kids because they’re going through trauma.
“A lot of kids use trauma in their life as a pretext to do negative acts,” said Chester Upland Academy Executive Director Daniel Peticca. “Her message says you can actually use those traumatic experiences as a crutch to do positive things.”
Jae’lonah says a big lesson she has learned is how much being in a group helped her. That’s why she knows her group can help others. Now, she has a lot of new friends from Camelot.