The Path of Dragonfly- An Alumni’s Words

“I know it sounds cliché, but Dragonfly changed my life.

I came to Dragonfly from a wilderness program, and it was a shocking change. The first month was extremely hard until I started interacting with everyone in the house. We played games together, ate dinner together and just laughed about anything and everything. I would wake up in the morning, go to the kitchen table and find three of the greatest people I know sitting there laughing at something silly. It is something I am going to miss most.

The connections I have made here make the experience what it was. This is where a lot of my growth came from. It is an environment where you’re surrounded by the same people, which can cause conflict, and that’s where you learn to use the skills you’re taught, for real life situations. You do everything with these people, and it gives you a deeper look into other people’s lives to realize you’re not alone; everyone has their stuff. 

Some of my favorite things that happened were Saturday activities. One time we had a water balloon fight and it got really intense, so I was chasing my friend down the back alley with a water balloon. Eventually we ran out of water balloons, so I just started spraying everyone with the hose. Also, if you go into the alley behind the house at night, you can lay down and just stare at the stars. I used to do that with my roommate, and we would have these amazing, deep conversations. I know it sounds cliché, but Dragonfly changed my life. 

There were times where I struggled and wanted to leave, but looking at it now that I’m an alumni, I made the greatest choice. I am in independent living now, and I’m starting to see how all the things I was doing in the house relate to real life. I am also grateful for the opportunity to go on the spring camping trip with the community again, even though I don’t live there anymore. It gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my best friends and get a break from the stress of trying to put my life back together. 

When I got here, I said there was no way I was going to be doing independent living. Looking at it now, I think this is the perfect step between the house and being out in the world. I can get the support I need through staff or just being at the house while I create my own life in Ashland. I have a job, I’m going to school for something that I love, and I know I can handle whatever comes my way. Special shoutout to Eric, the program director, and Cat the night staff! 

“It gives you a deeper look into other people’s lives to realize you’re not alone

– Carmen (Dragonfly Alumni)

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Karlie Clem

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