TAMI, AGE 17
Tami and her sister lived in Russia with two alcoholic parents. Their grandmother, a medical physician adopted them both and then immigrated with them to Israel. Unfortunately, the grandmother was unable to find work as a physician and had to clean houses for a living. In trying to protect the girls from the new and unknown environment, their grandmother would lock them in the house for days. When the girls managed to sneak out, they found bad company and dangerous influences. In spite of this, Tami excelled in her studies and was recommended to and then enrolled in a prestigious boarding school. But when her little sister, left alone at home, fell into the drugs scene, Tami felt responsible and dropped out of school to stay with her.
The situation at home was extremely difficult and Tami threatened to commit suicide. She was hospitalized in a mental institution. The facility staff realized very quickly that Tami was a strong young woman and needed a type of therapy they could not provide. Tami was at the institution for six months before she was moved to an in-patient center for at-risk girls, and subsequently relocated permanently to the Beit Ruth Girls’ Hostel. Tami’s grandmother was found unconscious and unresponsive by police on the beach and was suspected of trying to commit suicide; to this day she is hospitalized.
At Beit Ruth, Tami receives specialized attention, encouragement, therapy, responsibilities, and a family atmosphere. Although there have been difficult challenges along the way, she is excelling in her rehabilitation back to life. She is learning to value herself and is gaining the tools she needs in order to rise above her past. Tami wants to be a doctor and is working toward completing her high school matriculation exam.
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