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Chyna's Story

Chyna had dreams at night of what her life would be. Then, she says, she would wake up and realize that nothing was going to change for her. The abuse in her household had gotten bad and she didn’t know where to go.

A friend’s mother told her about Covenant House. She was nervous to go, but when she arrived, our staff sat and listened to her. It was the first time she was encouraged to be herself, she says.

She started dreaming again. But this time, when she woke up, she didn’t toss her dreams aside. She pursued them.

Chyna dreamed of creating a self-worth photo shoot for other teens who had felt, like she had, that they were worthless. When she shared her idea with staff, she was invited to speak about it at a Sleep Out. A photographer was in the audience that day. He volunteered to help make her dream a reality, helping her stage the shoot with models (her fellow residents) and photographing the images as she directed.

“This is not just a photo shoot to me, it is so much more than that,” Chyna said. “I struggled with so many insecurities that made me feel very low and feel that I was unworthy of a lot, like I was a disappointment to everyone. Over the years I found my worth and saw that I could do anything...cause only you can determine what you can and can’t do.”

Our partners at storybooth interviewed Chyna about this experience and created an animated video of her journey. Watch it here:

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