Julio Bolanos Guerra

Julio Bolanos Guerra is a 17-year-old high school student who loves to laugh and is passionate about music. If you met Julio today, you would have never thought that he had struggled with severe depression and substance use.

“I kind of had a lot of suicidal thoughts, tendencies. I would act out, harm myself. I ended up in the hospital, went to the psych ward.” – Julio

After spending time in the hospital in early 2022, Julio was referred to the VOA Hope Center in Greenbelt, MD to continue his recovery journey. Thanks to givers of hope like you, Julio was paired with one of our crisis stabilization specialists, Leelah Suah. Over the past six months, Leelah has helped Julio rediscover the beauty of who he is and feel hopeful about life and his promising future.

“Since I met [Leelah], things have been going pretty well. . . There’s been a lot she has helped me with – a lot of my troubles – like school things or relationships – stuff like that.”

In addition to crisis management, Julio engages in therapy and receives assistance securing the medication he needs to be well. Today, Julio is happier and more hopeful than he has ever been. And his transformation wouldn’t have been possible without YOU.

While many of the low-income youth served through the VOA Hope Center have Medicaid insurance, there are many like Julio who come through our doors without any health insurance at all. Amazing donors like you help to fund the cost for immediate services and support for these youth, while we help them and their families enroll into Medicaid.

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