After years of emotional abuse by a relative, the teens were using drugs and alcohol to deal with the stress.
Michelle Skeen took her stepchildren to Reach for Youth, a nonprofit counseling program in the county, where they met with counselors weekly to work through the issues and look to the future.
Now, her stepchildren have graduated from high school and are thinking about attending college, and the Whiteland mother credits that to the counseling they received through the program, which receives support from the United Way of Johnson County.
Skeen shared her story with about 300 people at the United Way kickoff breakfast Thursday. The agency announced its fundraising goal of $1.48 million, the highest amount the group has ever tried to raise.