When Advocate Pete learned that 15-year-old Wes* loved animals, he brought his dogs along to their very first meeting. They all went on a walk and got to know each other a little better. When the walk was over, Pete asked if Wes wanted him to be his Advocate. Wes said “yes.” It was his first day of sobriety. He had been homeless, then placed in Juvenile Detention, and was facing a serious substance abuse disorder.
Between both Dependency and Juvenile Court hearings, drug testing, and fulfilling other terms of probation, Wes had a lot on his plate, or as Pete said it, Wes “had a foot in two worlds…He’s a kid dealing with heavy adult problems.” So Pete wanted to help him just be a kid and “not just be another adult telling him what to do.”
So they’d go bowling or walk Pete’s dogs. They’d go get lunch together, mostly tacos—Wes is a big fan of tacos. But most importantly, they’d just spend time together. And Wes started to really turn things around. Pete helped secure him a surfboard and boombox to celebrate just how far he had come and to show just how much he trusted in Wes’ continued success.
Pete helped in numerous other ways as well. He spoke with the Probation Department to find out what else he could do to support Wes. He ensured that Wes had all the resources that he needed to thrive. And Pete even made sure that Wes was able to make all his appointments, often driving Wes himself.
And now Wes is back in school and free from drug use. Pete said that it was just “amazing watching this huge transformation.” Wes is on track to successfully complete his terms of probation, so he will be able to get his record expunged, and he will be formally returned to a family member’s home. He now even has a dog of his own.
Wes’ resilience and dedication to sobriety is truly inspiring. Thank you so much, Pete, for being there with him on this amazing journey.