Rachel, age 15

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Rachel’s mother is a drug-addict. Her three older siblings were born addicted to narcotics and Rachel recognizes that she is "lucky” that she was born healthy. Until the age of five, Rachel was raised by two aunts and moved around frequently. At six years old she was relocated to an ultra-Orthodox orphanage/boarding school. While Rachel progressed with her studies, the ultra-Orthodox environment proved trying. Though Rachel’s mother is Jewish, her father is an Arab. At the age of 14, Rachel started rebelling in school. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, she turned to the streets.

At Beit Ruth Girls’ Hostel, Rachel is part of a community that accepts her for who she is and helps her to achieve her goals. Rachel receives therapy, counseling, academic tutoring and life skills training. She is shown that she can have a future of promise, love and security.

Rachel desperately longs to be reunited with a "mother” and takes to the streets to search for her drug-addicted birthmother during every home visit. Nonetheless, when she returns to Beit Ruth after her visits she says: "it feels good to be back home”. Rachel is bright, charming, and a gifted singer. When asked about goals for the future she is quick to recognize the mistakes of her parents and exclaims: "My dream is for me to raise my own children”.

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