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2021 Outstanding Youth Award Goes to Stormy Endevoets

A story of transformation

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Congratulations to Rainbows’ youth, Stormy Endevoets. Stormy was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Youth Award at this year’s InterHab Art and Awards event. Stormy was awarded winning artwork by Tyler Moore, also served through Rainbows.

Stormy is pictured with her award – hanging wind chime artwork by Tyler; Amber Rosenthal, Direct Support Professional; Tiffany Graf, Family Support Services Assistant Coordinator; her grandmother Christine Stephens; and Lynlea Southards, Targeted Case Management Coordinator.

Just two years ago, Stormy was a completely different child. Her biggest challenge has been learning to control her anger and her immediate reactions to those around her though, especially family members. She struggled greatly with communicating her needs.

Based on a reward system her Direct Support Professional, Amber Rosenthal put in place, Stormy now only says inappropriate words when extremely distressed and angered. Mostly around family members. She no longer uses inappropriate language around Amber, school staff, or in public settings. The reward system is based on a monthly reward and reports back to Amber from her Grandmother.

She is now holding typical age appropriate relationships with her peers, and has even now started using social media with Amber and her Grandmother’s guidance and supervision.

She is no longer physically aggressive. This was a huge change for her! Instead she calls Amber, or relies on her friends. During times of excessive anger, she reaches out to talk to someone. It is very rare her Grandmother reports that physical aggression occurs. She understands now that talking situations out helps a lot. She is still easily angered on some occasions, but it is mostly related to household chores and seems age appropriate most times.

“Communication breakthroughs, daily living skills, and progress with anger management are the absolute best accomplishments she has made so far,” said Amber.

Stormy now knows how to operate a microwave to cook her own food independently. She can also bake with minimal help. She loves being in the kitchen and working with food. She can now physically wash her own laundry and fold it. She vacuums weekly and puts her family dishes away from the dishwasher. She loves going to school now.

Another huge accomplishment is Stormy now enjoys relationships she carries with peers and staff. She enjoys community outings and activities for much longer periods of time, whether she is involved or not. Her biggest overall challenge though is her ability to communicate. It has changed the relationships she has had in her life so much.

Stormy has received services from Rainbows since 2011 through Family Support Services. She gets in-home care 2-3 days per week, often at Amber’s home on the weekend, so her grandmother can work. Stormy attended center-based Camp Woodchuck in the summer before the pandemic.

Stormy continues to make progress on communication and controlling her emotions like all teenagers. This summer she participated in dance classes for the very first time.

She continues to gain confidence and life skills as she interacts with Amber and her family. Recently she visited Rainbows’ Kids’ Cove where she received after-school care and attended Camp Woodchuck in-person before COVID. Staff members who knew her were impressed with how she had gained confidence and transformed into a positive young woman. “It was like she was a different person,” said Lynlea Southards, Targeted Case Management Coordinator. “I was so touched by her total transformation.”

Stormy lives with her grandmother, parents and siblings ages 14 and 6-years-old.

Stormy, we’re so proud of you and all you’ve accomplished.