Lucy’s Story

Lucy's Story

A juvenile probation officer reached out to Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services for help with a 13-year-old girl, Lucy, who simply refused to go to school. Lucy said going to school was miserable because the kids picked on her. The probation officer, whose daughter went to school with Lucy, said it was true—the kids made fun of Lucy all the time.

Lucy’s mother’s untreated mental illness made life very difficult for Lucy and her four younger siblings. When the school bus would arrive to pick up the kids, Lucy’s mother would come out of the house and scream as the bus was leaving—with all the other students watching. As tough as her school day was, Lucy’s life at home was much worse. She bore the brunt of her mother’s verbal and physical abuse. She attempted suicide five times.

When she moved into the Austin Group Home for Girls, slowly but surely, Lucy began to heal, to open up, to grow more confident. At age 14, Lucy’s Group Home family threw her a party—the first birthday party she’d had in her entire life—complete with a piñata. Sometimes the smallest expressions of caring can make the biggest difference in a child’s life.