On Friday, May 11th, Dayna (pictured right), became our 16th graduate of the Girls Hope program. Dayna received her degree in Psychology from Duquesne University and graduated Cum Laude. Shortly after graduation, Dayna moved to Virginia to begin her job as a Registered Behavioral Technician.
Dayna began her journey at Girls Hope at the age of 14 – just two days before she started high school, where she attended Quigley Catholic High School. In high school, Dayna participated in many school functions, had a great group of friends, and enjoyed ending her days with family dinner at Girls Hope. Dayna describes Girls Hope as a true family and said her favorite memory about being in the program is the love. “When you live in a house of teenage girls, things are bound to get dramatic and at times pretty difficult. We fought a lot, but when it came down to it, we were sisters who had each other’s backs. When we needed each other most we were always good for a laugh, a hug, or even the sometimes necessary tough love. That is my favorite memory – the love.”
Prior to Girls Hope, Dayna would often give up on herself. She was so afraid of failure that she didn’t want to take any risks – and anytime a risk came along, she ran away from it. Girls Hope taught Dayna how to challenge herself and to never give up when things got difficult. Dayna credits Girls Hope for teaching her to fight for things that are worth it, because she is worth it. Additionally, she is grateful that Girls Hope taught her the importance of giving back to her community. “I didn’t always like volunteering, especially not in a stuffy warehouse packing boxes with hand made blankets for the needy. But, I later learned that I did love giving back. I loved feeling like I could help someone just like someone had helped me. Suddenly the world seemed much bigger than my problems and a lot more hopeful.”
Dayna would not be where she is today without the love, support, and encouragement from Girls Hope. Congratulations, Dayna!