From time to time, young people reach out to us to let us know the impact our programs had on their lives. Chibu’s story is an inspiration to us and we are thrilled to share it with you.
My name is Chibuenyi Griffith. I was born in Nigeria, grew up in foster care, hopping from home to home, until I hopped my way into a lovely American family. They brought me to the U.S. in 2012, when I was 12 years old. But having no goals, or sense of purpose in life, I felt lost. I was living day by day, with nothing to look forward to.
At the age of 18, I set out on a journey to find myself, parting ways with my parents and attending a college prep program at Diablo Valley College. It was the loneliest and lowest point of my life. I had no place to stay, so I’d sleep in the library until they closed, then settle into one of the elevators, trying to stay away from both campus security and the cold. On nights I worked, I slept in the car I rented to get there. I was homeless for about three weeks until my manager noticed my suitcase. After a pathetic attempt to hide my situation, I admitted that had no place to stay. She took me in, and helped me find some resources available for young people, including Larkin Street Youth Services.
It was my first time at a shelter. Terrified, not knowing what to expect, I went for it. With work taking up most of my day, Larkin Street was just a place for me to lay my head — at first.
Now, it is so much more than just a shelter, it’s my community. A secure place to feel at home.
Through hard work and dedication, I got an Internship at Salesforce as a technical writer. It felt like I’d been in a dark room, and all of a sudden, someone opened the door and let in some light. For the first time, I had confidence in myself. I had something to look forward to. For the first time, I was proud of myself.
After my internship, I started my professional career, working in the HR department at Salesforce on a great team. Being at Larkin Street gave me a safe environment where I could focus on getting on my feet without worrying about my basic needs.
I’m grateful and happy.