CMPD, Novant Health partner to help at-risk youth


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — The future of a child can be so fragile. That’s why Novant Health has partnered with CMPD on a groundbreaking program to help troubled kids turn their lives around.

One of the officers participating in the program, Jason Hoover, has an inspiring success story.

“She came in she didn’t say anything the first time,” Officer Hooven said. 

He’s talking about 18-year-old Bethany Wright, a self-admitted ‘former juvenile delinquent’ who was sent to Novant Health’s Adolescent Partial Hospitalization program.

“This came as a last resort,” she told FOX 46 Charlotte.

Its Officer Hooven’s first resort who comes to talk to kids like Bethany once a week.

“They think I’m going to give them the same old spiel that they think police officers are going to talk about: Don’t do drugs, please obey the laws, and yeah that may be in there, but there’s also coping skills,” Office Hooven said.

Novant’s program helps disturbed kids from all walks, but how they turn is unknown at first, says Grace Yarbro, Nursing Director at Novant Health.

“We cheer each other on. It’s the coolest most difficult job you’d ever want because you never know if someone coming in is going to have a breakdown and we have to take them over to in patient,” said Nurse Yarbro.

For Bethany, her story was a painful one of betrayal, loneliness and confusion.

“When I was a three our orphanage was actually raided by the Chinese police and that left a very traumatic experience for me,” she says. 

At five years old she was adopted from China and brought to North Carolina.

“I saw my mom and thought oh my gosh this white lady is adopting me and taking me away and doesn’t even speak Chinese.”

She had a tough time adapting to a new culture she grew up feeling out of place, got bullied in school and went through several abusive relationships.

“And that’s where I got really suicidal and really depressed, and I tried to kill myself,” Bethany said.

Bethany’s mother took her to a professional, but it didn’t help and her cries for help escalated to breaking the law.

“I’ve got a big mouth and you can’t shut me up,” said Bethany. 

Bethany was enrolled in the program after she began to get in trouble. The six-hour-a-day rehab at Novant was hard on her at first.

“It’s really hard, and sometimes it really sucks, but in that moment where it really sucks that’s where the healing starts,” she says. 

And what does Bethany think of police now?

“I can say for myself I was really grateful. After talking with you and having an experience with you, I was able to really have a different experience about cops and how I felt about them,” Bethany told Officer Hooven.

It was a fulfilling moment for him. 

“That’s pretty much the whole reason why I’m here,” he told her. 

A story of success, and redemption, that shows how working together can get results for our community and change the lives of our youth.  

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