A year ago, Catherine Odurokwarten was 19, single and overwhelmed as she raised her infant daughter.
Then Diana Reveles, a caring case management counselor, entered her life through the Sutter Teen Program and helped her find firmer footing.
By this summer, Odurokwarten was clicking along in a full-time pharmacy technician educational program. By October she had child care for her 19-month-old, Kylie-Marie Gonzalez.
Last week, the young mother turned 20. No longer a teenager, it was time for her to leave the program and for Reveles to move on to others in need.
Saying goodbye was painful, with their mutual love and regard apparent in hugs and tears.
"I'm not ready," Odurokwarten told her.
"No, you're going to be fine," Reveles said.
Sutter Medical Center's Sutter Teen Program serves pregnant and parenting teens throughout Sacramento County. It serves 95 teens and employs Reveles and two other case managers. They meet monthly with each client and provide counseling and guidance on everything from finding diapers to completing their educations.
As with all of her clients, Reveles worked step by step with Odurokwarten.
"Every time she came, she would list five goals and we would work through them," Odurokwarten said. "Basically we knocked off all of them."
"We did," Reveles said. "There were some bumps in the road, but we did it."
Reveles helped her find parenting classes and resources for her baby's needs. She also helped her navigate financial assistance, enroll in the pharmacy technician program at Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center and secure a spot in an Early Head Start child-care program for her toddler.
The pharmacy technology classes require a great deal of computer work, but the classroom has just eight computers for 20 students.
Odurokwarten does not have her own computer at home. Reveles is asking Book of Dreams readers to provide the young mother with a new laptop and software. It would allow her to complete more of her studies while at home with her daughter, as well as come in handy for preparing a résumé and job hunting.
Odurokwarten, who lives with her mother, plans to complete the training program in March and looks forward to working in a pharmacy and eventually furthering her training and rising in the pharmaceutical field. She holds ambitious dreams for her daughter's education and future.
"I want to give Kylie the best life possible," she said.
NEEDED: New laptop and software to help Catherine Odurokwarten complete her pharmacy technology classes.