UB coach helps spread message of hope at Kids Escaping Drugs

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 17:33:40-04

WEST SENECA, NY (WKBW) — "My prayer is that we all find that word, hope."

A meaningful word and message from University at Buffalo women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack.

"You just gotta continue to get to that better day," Legette-Jack said. "When it's important enough for you, you and that person in the mirror are gonna make a decision that you're just not gonna go back anymore."

A message that means everything to the residents at Kids Escaping Drugs, a rehabilitation facility in West Seneca.

"The ramifications of this will go very far for them," Jodie Altman, Deputy Executive Director at the Renaissance Campus said.

Because hope is what they need. The facility currently houses about 40 residents who are working to overcome obstacles. Like mental health, an important part of recovery yet something that can be hard to handle during these uncertain times.

"Try to be a 14 or 15-year-old," Altman explained. "And telling them you can't leave and oh by the way, we have this pandemic out there."

But the staff at Kids Escaping Drugs has brought a sense of normalcy. They have two mental health counselors, have been playing games, and are encouraging virtual visits with family.

"We do a lot of Zoom and a lot of Skype so they can see their families and their loved ones," Altman said. "We're just here everyday trying to make it okay."

Because these young adults need to feel loved and supported. May is mental health awareness month so checking on that well-being is more important now than ever.

"Letting them know that people care about them whether it's their family or a complete stranger that donates lunch or dinner," Altman said. "It's still a minute for them to stop and think, I'm okay. I matter."

It's why the facility is also thankful for people like Coach Legette-Jack who's helping to manage the pressure and spread positivity to those who need it most.

She said, "I just hope that I gave a little bit where one person can say, yea, it's my turn now."