Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Overachiever Wins His Toughest Battle

When Jeffrey graduated from Brother Martin High School, he was an overachiever with a 4.0 average. His future seemed limitless.

But in college, Jeffrey became depressed and unmotivated. Doctors prescribed medications for depression, but none helped. Jeffrey’s life went downhill quickly. He was homeless on the streets of New Orleans for two years.

Jeffrey’s story may seem shocking, but the reality is that one in four adults experiences a mental health disorder each year. A significant percentage of persons who are homeless suffer from mental illness. As many of us realize, homelessness is a terrible problem in the New Orleans area.

Finally, Jeffrey was able to move in with his sister and tried to rebuild his life. This proved difficult and slow. A turning point came when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and got proper medications. Then, Volunteers of America’s Mental Health Services entered Jeffrey’s life. They gave him the support and motivation he needed to stick with his medications and rebuild a happy, productive life.

Things began looking up, and Jeffrey started to use the talents and potential that were obscured by his illness. He went back to college and earned a master’s degree in education. Without Volunteers of America, Jeffrey could still be living on the streets. Now, he’s planning to use his degree to teach and help others.