Growing up in Lawrence, Merik felt like an outcast for much of his adolescence. In school, he struggled to focus on academics, instead finding and causing trouble. He became a “tough kid” looking for attention in all the wrong places. Merik found that attention selling drugs. After he was arrested, his relationship with his family fell apart and at 18, he was homeless. Despite searching for a change, he found himself back on the streets, running with a gang and selling drugs.
Two years ago when Merik came to the SISU Center, he was focused on getting his life together. For the first time, he found real support and he excelled in personal and professional skills development. A combination of resources and money management skills helped him get back on his feet and earn a coveted spot in the Skills Build Training program. His time at Skills Build helped reinforce the drive to work towards achieving his long-term goals.
Merik continues to be a positive influence at SISU, inspiring others to push themselves out of their comfort zones, because “your comfort zone is where dreams go to die.”