Skip to main content

KVC Health Systems

People Matter

20 Inspiring Stories of Overcoming Childhood Adversity & Getting Mental Health Support

KVC Story Contest 2019 Winners - Share your story - Inspiring stories of overcoming childhood adversity

As a child and family services organization, KVC Health Systems believes in the power of storytelling to engage audiences, touch hearts, connect people and inspire hope. That’s why, each year, we hold a Story Contest to gather inspiring stories and celebrate the ways we’ve helped children and adults overcome and heal from serious challenges like childhood adversity, strained relationships, mental health needs, addiction, loneliness and hopelessness.

Do you believe every child deserves to be safe and connected to a strong family? Join us to receive a few inspiring stories each month and help end childhood adversity. Subscribe here! 

We received 55 entries to our 2019 Story Contest. The inspiring stories came from youth and families we’ve served, foster or adoptive families who support our mission, and KVC team members who provide in-home family support, behavioral health, foster care, adoption, children’s psychiatric treatment or other vital services. The stories highlight the resilience of people we serve and the compassion and expertise of our team members.

The KVC Story Contest uses a team of judges to select the most emotionally compelling stories. Each winner received a $50 Amazon gift card. Plus, every person who submitted a story (whether they won or not) received the special gift of a custom KVC tote bag for participating.

Now is a great time to check out any of these stories you may have missed! Some are available to read immediately. Others will be available in the near future.

Top Winners of Inspiring Stories:

Bullying Led My Daughter to Depression & Psychiatric Hospitalization: How She Achieved Mental Health Wellness [VIDEO]

Submitted by Angela Urbano, KVC Hospitals Wichita

The Story Behind His Behavior Will Break Your Heart: How Our Team Helped One Young Boy

Submitted by Brianna Anosike, KVC Hospitals Wichita


Social Worker Plants Seed of Hope in Struggling Single Mom

Submitted by Angguna Rowe, KVC West Virginia



Resilient Teen Soars to College Success Due to Support from Loving Foster Family

Submitted by Shanel Vazquez, Youth Served by KVC Kansas

Mother Overcomes Lifelong Trauma and Addiction to Reunite with Children

Submitted by Shannon Bolter, KVC Nebraska


Teen in Foster Care, Working as a Lifeguard, Saves a Toddler’s Life

Submitted by Baylee Huntsinger, KVC Kansas

Migrant Child Experiences Sex Trafficking, Then Help and Healing

Submitted by Katherine, Young Mother Served by KVC Kansas

Family Fights for Second Chance to Parent Their Child

Submitted by Katherine Boylan, KVC Kansas

Additional Winners:

  • Ashlee Rowe, KVC Kentucky, Clinical Specialist Helps Family Communicate, Forgive and Thrive
  • Dawn Ross, Foster/Adoptive Parent with KVC Kansas, Three Kids for Christmas: One Couple’s Journey of Fostering and Adopting
  • Janny Sivilay, KVC Hospitals Kansas City, Therapist Helps Teen Girls with Suicidal Thoughts Find Hope and Thrive
  • Lisa Ahmann, KVC Nebraska, Foster Mother Surprisingly Reunited with Baby Girl and Adopts Her
  • Larissa Jesina, Foster Parent with KVC Kansas, Girl in Foster Care Transforms in Big Ways in Just 8 Months
  • Lori Cook, KVC West Virginia, Little Boy with Abusive Past Now Thriving Thanks to Foster Mom’s Care
  • Shelcy Karlowski, KVC Hospitals Wichita, Receptionist Inspired by KVC Hospitals’ Work, Training to be a Nurse
  • Sarah Berens, KVC Hospitals Hays, 17-Year-Old Girl Feeling Suicidal Transforms Thanks to Mr. Trevor
  • Paige Brooks, KVC Hospitals Hays, 8-Year-Old Boy Connects with Mr. Jordan About Feelings and Fishing
  • Jami Hespe, KVC Hospitals Wichita, Excited to Be Part of the Wichita Team, Helping Children Feel Safe
  • Kristen Osborne, KVC Hospitals Hays, Team Comes Together to Create Mentor Lounge for Kids
  • Holly Sieving, KVC Hospitals Hays, Boy Bonds with KVC Team Over One Year Including a Special Christmas

Two KVC teams also won internal accolades. KVC Nebraska achieved the highest rate of employee participation in the Story Contest, and KVC Hospitals achieved the most stories submitted from any local team. Thank you and congratulations to both!

Do you have a story that shows how you made a positive difference in someone’s life through KVC? Submit your story today at

If you believe every child should be safe and connected to a strong family and a healthy community, join us! Explore KVC careers, learn more about helping a child or teen who has experienced abuse or neglect by becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or consider donating online today.