The Gift of Possibilities

December 10, 2018

My name is LaRae and I’m a working mother of four children. I survived years of living in a violent household, as a child and into my adulthood. I have fought to keep my children safe, because they are the most precious and important people in my life. Our family has experienced significant trauma, including multiple incidents of gun violence, personal injury, murder and homelessness.

I grew up in the projects in South LA where I learned very fast that I had to get tough, even though I was a child who didn’t like violence. One day, my dad sat me in a folding chair and invited all the neighborhood kids to hit and kick me. Afterwards, he said, “Now are you mad enough to go and fight?”

Throughout my life, I was also struggling with my own internal battle. I was constantly under the pressure of thoughts that the world and I just didn’t fit. I lived over 20 years of my life suicidal and it reached a point where I couldn’t take care of my children. This is when I was introduced to Children’s Institute. I didn’t know much about myself at that time. The therapist would say, “We are going to explore how to identify our feelings,” and I would start to release every secret I’d been holding throughout my life that I’d been ashamed of, or had weighed me down. I told it all — I got free.

Children’s Institute has been a part of my journey from contemplating the worst to accomplishing the best. From teaching me how to create a new vision for my life that is centered on purposeful living and stability, to attending conferences to help me transition back into work.

All four of my children benefited from Children’s Institute’s therapeutic programs teaching us to work together as a family, learning how to build healthy relationships with ourselves, with one another, and also with our community.

Today, my family is doing great, and we are exactly where we are supposed to be — happy, healthy and safe.

Happy Holidays,



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