Former Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS youth focuses on bright future
Whether he is filling out college applications, applying for scholarships or exploring internship opportunities, 17-year-old old Xavier Stagg is focused on his future – one full of endless possibilities.
When Stagg arrived at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) center in 2018, he was experiencing major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Three years later, Stagg is thriving as a high school senior, ready to reach his goals.
“I had a great team at Devereux. A lot of people supported me and helped me get on the right path – they had a significant impact on my life,” said Stagg, who was discharged from Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS in 2020. “I learned how to manage my mood and find ways to cope. Today, I am doing so much better.”
Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS Executive Director Patricia Hillis-Clark, Psy.D., also noted, “We are incredibly proud of Xavier and all he has accomplished. Our ultimate goal is to help the youth in our care develop the academic, social, emotional and life skills needed to be successful in their homes, schools and communities. Xavier has overcome so much, and we cannot wait to see what is next for this bright and talented young man.”
Journey of growth
At first, Stagg says he was not ready for clinical treatment, and, as a result, he began acting out.
“I had a lot going on at the time, and it was really hard for me to open up to people,” Stagg shared. “There was an adjustment period when I first began treatment at Devereux – it took a while for me to say, ‘OK. I need to stop doing this and really focus.’ I met frequently with my therapist and she taught me a lot of skills. I was ready to work on moving past my trauma.”
While at Devereux, Stagg says he gained greater self-awareness.
“I learned that everyone can’t do everything for you,” Stagg explained. “You have to realize that on your own, and you have to be responsible for yourself.”
Stagg is a member of the National Honor Society and National BETA Club, student groups that promote academic achievement and leadership. He has already been accepted to several colleges to study psychology, and recently received a Presidential Scholarship, which recognizes graduating high school seniors for their accomplishments.
“I’m very excited. I feel like a lot of the adversity I’ve been through has led me to discover what my purpose is in life,” Stagg explained. “People might think my life has been rough and challenging. But the way I look at it is: It helped me become who I am today. Devereux helped me believe in myself and try not to let the past ruin my present. Before, I had very low self-esteem. Devereux gave me the confidence to say, ‘I can do this.’”
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