Nick's Story


Nick struggled through his childhood in Tuba City. His eventual diagnoses of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder precipitated his referral to a children’s group home in Phoenix where major bouts of depression set in. Lacking self-management skills, Nick was extremely destructive. When he aged out of the children’s welfare system at age 18, he was referred to Intermountain’s Vida Nueva Apartments for seriously mentally ill adults where he would receive one on one staffing, 24/7. His self-harming activities nearly resulted in setting his Vida Nueva apartment on fire!

Seeking a more structured setting, he was referred to Intermountain’s adult therapeutic foster care for placement in a Tucson home. For months, his provider insisted that Nick try to complete his high school diploma at Palo Verde High School. For months, Nick had to be awakened each school day, had to be transported to school because he missed the school bus, destroyed his school ID card, and just didn’t want to attend school, let alone graduate. His foster care provider started building on Nick’s love of drawing Navajo rug patterns in reinforcing his school attendance. One day, Nick turned the corner and became the advocate for getting to Palo Verde on time. Nick celebrated his high school graduation in 2011 with his many Intermountain friends at a party where his newly acquired skill of jewelry-making was featured.

The following summer Nick enrolled in pottery classes and transitioned to the semi-independent Kiva Apartments…and enrollment in a job training program. In a mere two years in Intermountain’s Adult Residential Program, Nick has become an affable gentleman, acquired a diploma, developed new arts expertise, adopted a positive lifestyle, acquired independent living skills and lots of admirers.

Because of Nick’s success at Intermountain, he has recently moved into an independent apartment adjacent to Intermountain’s Vida Nueva complex. Congratulations to Nick on a job well done. We are wishing him success!

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