Sharon’s tale revolves around the word that accompanies her name: Notorious.

In her drive through the state’s mental health system for children, Sharon blew through placements like a reckless driver through red lights. She never looked back, never really regretted her actions. State hospital, residential care, therapeutic foster care, regular foster care, group homes.

When she became comfortable in a home, she sabotaged herself. Sharon lived in 50 homes in four years and became well known in the state system. Mention her name, and the description “notorious” immediately followed.

It’s not hard to see why she had difficulties. Her father died when she was young, and her mother battled drug addiction. When Sharon was home, she was mother to her mother. Her life was tumultuous, which led to mental health issues.

At 16, she came to Trillium Family Services’ new secure program for teens. Trillium was the right environment with the right treatment at the right moment for Sharon. Soon notoriety gave way to renown.

She found she enjoyed school and learned that if she put in the time, a lot of time, she could earn her high school diploma. With the same determination she devoted to sabotaging herself, Sharon dived into her schoolwork. Seven months later, she graduated with much fanfare. Finally, Sharon was ready for the transition to therapeutic foster care.

Soon, she will turn 18 and be on her own. Will she be ready? Sharon thinks so.

She has plans. She wants to be the first in her family to graduate from college, she wants to get a job, she wants to buy a house. Sharon talks about possibilities where none existed before, and she now has the tools to build a brighter future if she so chooses.