MST moves beyond the labels that stigmatize troubled youth
Labels. Labels we are given, and ones we take on and allow to define us. For young people who are involved in juvenile justice, and for many who become MST clients, labels can get in the way of success. Maybe they are marked as “bad kids” because they are on probation or parole. Maybe it’s a mental health diagnosis or a learning disability that is allowed to become their label. Some kids are remembered for a crime they committed or by the reputation their families have in the community. Thankfully, we don’t live in the 17th century and have to literally wear a scarlet letter stitched across our clothing. Being put into a category can still be incredibly damaging and difficult to overcome. In particular, when we internalize it.