"Five years ago, a 12-year-old Latina girl committed suicide in her family's garage in the town of Westbury, NY, a diverse suburb on Long Island that has pockets of poverty and has seen an influx of immigration from Central and South American countries in the last few decades. The town - adjacent to Old Westbury, which was cited by Forbes magazine as the 10th most expensive zip code in the United States - is rife with overcrowded, rundown multi-family housing, and a large percentage of the population is struggling to make ends meet . . . It is an unsafe and stressful environment for anyone, but especially perilous for teenage girls. . . "
So begins a moving story published by the national publication LIFELINES: Stories from the Human Safety Net. Journalist Jenna Kern-Rugile goes on to tell the story of the development of North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center's Latina Girls Project. The moving story details the work of a team of bilingual, bicultural social workers and mental health counselors who are helping at-risk girls.