Reclaimed life at Vista Maria

A reclaimed life is status quo at Vista Maria. When Kyra, a 14-year old with special needs, first arrived on the Vista Maria campus she was able to express only pain and sadness. The severe physical and emotional abuse that she had suffered in her home shattered her ability to trust others. She had lost hope for her life and future. Kyra said, “I didn’t want to face the world. I just wanted to cry in my room and be alone.”

Vista Maria’s skilled therapists and staff took steps to help Kyra gain a new foothold in life. They provided her with compassion, patience and the unique care she needed to manage her anger and pain.

I didn’t want to face the world.  I just wanted to cry in my room and be alone.

This level of personalized attention and care had a serious impact on Kyra, and soon she began responding positively to visitors. At first she started making eye contact with others. Then she began returning a smile and a wave of her hand. Eventually she worked up the courage to join peers in group therapy. Each day Kyra made strides toward her full recovery. Over time, she found herself. She developed confidence and gained a new sense of self-worth.

One day Kyra expressed a desire to get involved in the Vista Maria community and asked to become a peer greeter for incoming residents. She began welcoming new arrivals to Vista Maria and helping them get settled into their programs on campus.

A reclaimed life begins to take hold

Kyra was on a journey to a reclaimed life. It wasn’t long until people started noticing a marked difference in who Kyra was becoming. She had grown comfortable in allowing her true self to shine through so that others could experience her friendliness and fun-loving ways. She had learned to trust others and was ready for a family. 

During Kyra’s time of renewal at Vista Maria, she became connected to a caring Vista Maria foster family. The family proved to be a perfect match for her.

With the loving support of a family, a nurturing home environment and case workers who were committed to her healing, Kyra completed her treatment program at Vista Maria earlier this year with a fully reclaimed life. She continues to make great strides toward her future. Today she attends school regularly and enjoys playing basketball with her friends and foster family.

Kyra has put the worst of her painful past behind her and is growing each day in confidence as she learns to be increasingly self-sufficient. Kyra is on her way to becoming a productive and happy young adult, thanks to the care, education and treatment she received at Vista Maria.

Vista Maria is a sponsored ministry of Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. The ministry is located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. To learn more about Vista Maria and other Good Shepherd ministries, check out our website Ministries at a Glance page.

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website