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Former Devereux student shares her high school experience

Devereux taught me that I am appreciated and that I do matter.
- Shante Chapman, former Devereux Day School student

When Shante was younger, she was labeled a “brawler” who was prone to bouts of anger and fighting. After her freshman year in high school, she and her family made the decision to continue her high school education at the Devereux Day School, previously located in Downingtown, Pa., next to Devereux CARES (Center for Autism Research and Educational Services).

“My sister was already at the Devereux Day School, so my parents wanted me to go to school with her,” Shante explained. 

‘Comfortable enough to be me’

When Shante first arrived at Devereux for her sophomore year, she was quiet and reserved. 

“I felt like I had to be on my toes, because I didn’t know these people and I didn’t know what to expect. The only person I knew was my sister. So I kept to myself. I did my work and didn’t say anything to anybody,” she said. “But as the year went along, I got into the swing of things and I opened up.” 

Shante said her outlook changed as a result of several factors: “The students were nice and I had my sister with me. My teachers opened me up too, because they didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. They made me feel comfortable enough to be me.”  

Building new skills

During her time with Devereux, she had an opportunity to attend a vocational high school in Coatesville, Pa., spending half of her time at the day school and the other half building new skills for the future. 

“Devereux helped me get into vocational school – and it was a great experience,” she said. In 2008, Shante proudly graduated from vocational school with a focus on Early Childhood Development. 

Breaking down walls

Nearly 10 years later, Shante is a stay-at-home mother to her two beautiful children, eight-year-old Aaron and six-year-old Makayla. She feels like she is in a good place, partly due to the support she received at Devereux, but mostly as a result of her own will and determination to succeed. 

“At that time, I was a very angry person. Nothing else mattered and I did what I needed to do to protect myself and my feelings,” added Shante. “But being at Devereux was a lot of help. It was a place where I could break that wall down.” 

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the largest nonprofit behavioral healthcare organizations in the country. Founded in 1912 by Helena Devereux, the non-profit operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational, and employment programs and services that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults and their families every year. Please consider making a gift today by visiting our secure, online donation page.

Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

  

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