Oklahoma City University Freshman Beats the Odds

Wednesday, March 25th 2009, 10:59 am
By: News 9

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - Nicole Coleman's seven months at Oklahoma City University makes her dorm room the most "permanent" home she's ever had.

"I grew up in foster care, since the age of 6, DHS custody, I moved foster homes, like at least 30 homes and we're not going to count the number of shelters and things like that I stayed in," the OCU freshman said.

Coleman said growing up was hard and she wouldn't have made it without the help of Youth Services' Supporting Kids in Independent Living program. The program provided financial and emotional support and is now providing Coleman with a way to give back.

"I'm learning right now that I went through a lot so I can talk about it and I can help other kids going through the same things I'm going through," she said.

Coleman said one of the worker's at Youth Services became her substitute grandmother.

"She'd talk to me," Coleman said. "If I had a complaint about little things, regardless of if it was just some girl I didn't like at school or somebody was getting on my nerves, she'd listen."

Now Coleman has a chance to return the favor. Coleman was recently hired at Youth Services' as the volunteer coordinator.

"Nicole's situation for the children we see at Youth Services is fairly typical, unfortunately, heart breakingly so," said Youth Services President and CEO Debra Forshee. "She's going to make it; she's going to figure out how to make the system work for her."