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17 and needing a new life before i end it, question about school

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  • 17 and needing a new life before i end it, question about school

    im 17. I plan on leaving in january 2018 with my dog and heading west to Los Angeles. i have a couple of friends and know of resources in Cali. my dog is coming with me, no question about it, I need him. my parents don’t want me here, I’m worthless compared to my sister (who is in a private school) and am a burden on them all. i have been told multiple times they all want me and my dog gone, and i have to get my dog away before they get rid of him. i also can’t see myself going anywhere if i remain where I’m at. I’m “homeschooled” but it’s not worth it since my mother didn’t legally enroll me in homeschooling and i may as well be a dropout. my dog is trained to assist me with my anxiety symptoms, but since I’m not diagnosed (my parents don’t take me to doctors) I don’t think he is legally a service dog by ADA standards despite serving as one (he works as a service dog, not a therapy dog). my question is that if i go to cali, will i be able to attend high school (probably have to redo 11th grade and then do 12th) without parents enrolling me? will the school ask questions about where i came from, and how do i go about paying for lunch and school supplies?
    things at home are worse than I’m letting on but that isn’t my primary reason for leaving. if i remain at home I’ll just be kicked out when I’m 18 anyway, and by then i fear it’ll be too late to get my high school education while still qualifying for a lot of programs offered to homeless youth. at this point, i feel like the sooner i leave, the more of a chance i have at being successful in life.
    maybe it’s worth mentioning that my name is not the same as what’s on my birth certificate and social security card because I’m transgender. i plan to have my name legally changed and getting a new social security card and birth certificate as soon as I can, but I don’t know if I need to disclose the fact that I am transgender or what my current legal name is in order to do so. if i were to do that i would be much easier to find. frankly i don’t know much at all about doing all of that. any knowledge would be appreciated.
    thanks.

  • #2
    Hi,
    Thanks so much for reaching out. It sounds like you have thought a lot about what you want to do, and are trying to plan the best way for you to start a new life. It’s also great that you are thinking about school, and you asked a lot of super important questions.

    Going somewhere new, even if you know some people there, is still a big decision, and can be very scary. One way to alleviate some of the stress is to get your parent’s permission to go to California. Another thing to consider is a place to stay, like one of the friends you know in California.

    You also mentioned enrolling in school. All school personnel (like teachers, counselors, and administration) are mandated reporters. What this means is that if you tell them information about abuse or anything like that, they would be required to report it. If your parents had filed a runaway report, this could lead to you getting brought back home. To enroll, you usually need to have a lot of documentation, like social security card and birth certificate. You mentioned that you are trying to legally change your name. One great resource is the Trevor Project, a specific LGBTQ youth hotline. They might be able to offer more specific advice about this. Their number is 1-866-488-7386.

    Money-wise, many schools have programs to help homeless or low income youth, including getting school supplies. It sounds like you are worried about completing all of this before you turn 18, but many programs treat “youth” as people under 21. Similarly, there are many programs for homeless teens in general, including education. While it sounds like your education is very important to you, safety is also important.

    There are a lot of factors to consider but it sounds like you are really thinking about your choices. We would love to talk more and find specific resources for your area, or the area you want to go to. Feel free to call us anytime at 1-800-786-2929. We are here 24/7 to listen and to help.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:




    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

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