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Oasis Center helps teens turn life around

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Almost daily there are reports of teenagers in Nashville doing some very bad things.

The Nashville non-profit Oasis Center said it will never give up on trying to turn them around.

“I can’t see there are teenagers out there that want to be bad,” said Trisha, a 42-year-old mother of two who doesn’t want to share her last name. “They don’t choose to be bad. They may choose to do bad things. A lot of times they’re acting out for attention because they’re missing it from somewhere.”

Trisha said she’s lived this truth.

Raised by her war veteran father who battled alcoholism and PTSD, Trisha moved in with her mom at age 13.

She became a self-proclaimed rebel and at 16 she refused to go to school.

She checked herself in to the Oasis Center’s emergency shelter for teens.

“if the parent is not able to give that attention that teen needs, there are people here who are willing to give that attention to those teens and can hopefully put them on a better path so they don’t make those mistakes,” said Trisha.

Now decades later, Trisha has daughters of her own.

When the rebel in them wreaked havoc at home, she knew where to turn.

“We not only come here, but we also have a program where someone comes three times a week and does intensive in-home counseling,” said Trisha. “You just need to know who to ask and where to go.”

Clinical counselor Marjorie Rice works in the shelter program, which targets kids ages 13-17 year old.

“She wants change so desperately and so badly for her children,” said Rice. “All three – Tricia’s two daughters and Tricia, they never miss an appointment.”

Oasis offers more than 20 programs for kids and families of all ages on any schedule and at no cost.

“Our counseling services are free, and they don’t just stop when the program ends. They continue on,” Rice said. “We’re always a support and part of the youth’s entire life. We become a part of that family.”

Speaking of family, Trisha became a grandmother on the night of her interview with News4.

“We are all three working individually and also as a family unit,” Trisha said. “We have a new baby coming tonight, as a matter of face, and we don’t want to carry that cycle into the next generation.”

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