Arminta’s Story

What did you dream of becoming when you were little?  

From a very early age, Arminta knew she wanted to be a paramedic. She was obsessed with ambulances and first responders. She knew she wanted to help people. But she never believed she would actually fulfill that dream.  

Growing up, Arminta struggled with an unsafe home environment. At the age of 16, she started acting out and got in trouble with the law. She was removed from her home and placed in the juvenile courts, then bounced around to group homes and supervised apartment living. 

After high school, Arminta found herself in an abusive relationship and dropped out of college. She finally found an out and moved to Des Moines, where she stayed at a motel and couch surfed with friends. 

Finally, Arminta went to Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC), a YSS organization located in Des Moines. She connected with the IHYC Aftercare program for young adults who have aged out of foster care. Her advocate, Hannah, helped her budget, seek financial aid, and enroll at DMACC. 

Arminta also benefited from therapy to manage her anxiety, and she learned crisis and time management. This fall, she enrolled in PSERP (Post-Secondary Education Retention Program), a YSS program funded by the United Way of Central Iowa that provides case management and a monthly stipend to students.  

After working with YSS programs for just five short months, Arminta is well on her way toward becoming an emergency medical technician—and eventually, a paramedic. IHYC is there to help her every step of the way. When Arminta contracted COVID-19 in September, her advocates helped her adjust her plan, so she can still graduate on time. 

YSS and IHYC are proud to help teens and young adults like Arminta stand strong. Learn more about our programs.

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