Success Stories

Our clients battle and overcome different hardships, obstacles or traumas. When they arrive at The Guidance Center, children and their families begin their journey together to find healing and hope. With the support of our compassionate team of therapists, they leave with confidence, strength and the tools to thrive toward positive and productive futures. Read their inspiring stories.


Nina has lived most of her young life in homes that didn’t provide love or adequate care until recently. This left her anxious and unable to speak. But after spending time with Armando, she has found her confidence and is excelling in school. Together with Nina’s social worker, Armando was also able to help Nina’s caregiver access resources that enabled them to obtain permanent housing and legal guardianship.

Saniya and Christopher

Saniya, 12, and Christopher, Jr., 8, from our San Pedro Clinic are siblings from a very special family. Individually and as a family they’ve experienced challenges, but are stronger because their parents, Sausha and Christopher, are committed to building a bright future for their family of six together. A part of that commitment is ensuring that their children get the help they need to thrive.


Since 2011 and several times prior to that I was abused. Emotionally, mentally, verbally, but mostly physically. I couldn’t control my heart. I thought I was in love. I was broken down and told how I wasn’t good enough. I was told nobody would want me. That I was crazy and it was always my fault. I was blamed for the abuse. I was told I brought it upon myself. I wasn’t strong enough to leave. I was weak and manipulated to think they could change. I believed the sorry’s every time. I thought I wasn’t going to make it on my own as a single mom.


Meet Wendy, a client in The Guidance Center’s CalWORKS program in Long Beach. The stress of bravely escaping domestic violence triggered a previously unknown mental illness that Wendy had: schizophrenia.


To say that Mia and her mom, Araceli, are now thriving would be an understatement. Araceli describes 9-year-old Mia, an avid video-gamer, as independent, brave, fearless, and outspoken, but also sensitive and always ready to help others in need. Mia is extremely self-motivated, and is already laying the foundation to pursue a Master’s degree in Game Design at USC someday. Mia excels at math, plays the violin, and sings in her school’s choral group. She even ran for student council recently and won. No doubt it was because her classmates wanted a peer to stand up to bullying the way Mia did in her campaign speech.


“I have come full circle.” Jenny had her first child when she was 15. She was a child raising children. Over the years, she struggled being a parent. Her daughter ran away from home multiple times as a teen, and Jenny sought to get her family help at The Guidance Center, but her husband didn’t want them to. Getting mental health care back then was taboo. Nobody talked about it – it was the secret you swept under the rug.


Five year- old Brandon is often described as precocious, a feisty ball of energy. When he came to The Guidance Center, he was defiant and had frequent temper tantrums. He was also oppositional and had a hard time with limits. Brandon’s mom is a single parent with limited support and is living in a stressful family environment; as a result, Brandon struggled and acted out.


Hope came to The Guidance Center while she was in foster care. Her father worked tirelessly during that time to reunite with her so that they could start rebuilding their relationship and their family.


Alicia experienced unthinkable trauma from an early age that no child should ever have to endure. Abuse, violence and instability dominated the majority of her young life. She was sexually abused by a family member when she was only four years old. Her mother struggled with mental illness. Her family frequently found themselves homeless. Her beloved father was murdered.


Amber is just months away from earning her bachelor’s degree. She’s interning at Precious Lamb Preschool and is on schedule to complete her practicum. She’ll be applying to graduate school soon. She’s a mother of three beautiful children, who are in her sole custody. But, life didn’t always look so hopeful. Amber used to lead a reckless life.


Where could I start with Mikey? Was he lovable? Did he still have an inner child? The answer to those questions had to start with my understanding of “why.” Why is Mikey the way he is? Here’s what I think. “I don’t care,” Mikey’s proudly displayed mantra, should really be interpreted as “I don’t feel cared for.”

Karen & Family

Imagine five children under the age of 10 who were subjected to countless acts of violence to their mother, to one another and to their family dog. This is the story of Karen, a brave mother, and her five young children who came to The Guidance Center’s Compton Clinic for help in 2012. Together, Karen and her children embarked on what many would consider a daunting journey toward hope and healing, but one which Karen supported with strength and determination. As a result of their valiant and arduous efforts they have grown to become a stronger, happier and closer family.