MC takes Charge

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MC is a resident in our Snohomish County Youth Programs who has turned his life around and become a role model for other youth in the program. The Snohomish County Youth Programs consist of three residential homes that serve boys between the ages of 13 to 18 years-old who are struggling with emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric issues. Our staff works closely with the youth to help them overcome their issues so they can rejoin their peers in school and live productive lives. Recently, Elizabeth Welch ( Pictured: Elizabeth Welch, Program Supervisor - Left; and Mary Johnson-Schroeder, director of Snohomish County Youth Programs - Right) shared a wonderful story about MC - a resident in the program. Read below.


It is a true joy and feeling of accomplishment when a resident learns to overcome the emotional and behavioral barriers that block him from moving forward in life. We currently have a teen that we will call MC, for privacy reasons, who lives at the Cypress House. The Cypress is a program that serves 13-18 year old males with extreme behavior and mental health issues, along with adjudicated sex offenders.  MC’s success story is the type we want to shout about to let people know that individuals can change when given the opportunity and services needed.

First, we want to acknowledge that our success stories are not only the product of the Pioneer staff who are working closely with the youth in our programs, but they are the result of the work that the residents do for themselves. Our program director, Mary Johnson-Schroeder, always says that we (staff) should not be working harder than our clients. In the case of MC, his success comes from the work he has done for himself, and we could not be more proud of this young man!

In February 2017, MC was accepted at the Cypress House after being kicked out of his previous placement for behavioral issues. MC did not want to come to the Snohomish County Youth Program and he was really vocal about it. We had no idea what we were in for when he arrived and MC sure did give his social worker an earful each time she spoke with him. The beginning was rough and we were not sure if MC was going to listen and take advantage of our counseling services.

Now it is only eight months later and MC has made the most incredible progress. Residents at Cypress House earn points each day for good behavior and MC has been earning most of his points each day due to positive behavioral skills he has learned and following program rules. MC has also learned to take feedback from the adults in his life, accept the suggestions and corrections, and incorporate it into his behavior. Another thing that is extremely impressive about this young man is that he has gone through a lot of emotional trials this past year but he has stayed engaged and focused at school. MC is playing football for his school team and he is getting straight A’s in his classes. He was even moved up in class from freshman algebra to geometry, and continues to earn amazing grades!

Staff at the Cypress House have witnessed MC, who did not want to be a part of this program in the beginning, take on quite a leadership role at Cypress House. When another resident is in crisis, MC will step up and try to comfort the other youth. He will not leave the side of the resident in distress until that resident is either feeling better or MC knows that that there is no more that he can do.

In the short time that MC has been in the Cypress House, he has made the crucial emotional and behavioral changes needed to move on to more permanent placement; somewhere that he can call a home. He has been visiting a family every weekend for quite some time, and the family is working to get their foster care license so that MC can move in with them permanently.

All of us at the Snohomish County Youth Program rejoice in MC’s success and realize that he is what makes coming to work each day so rewarding!