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Taliyah's Story - A New Beginning

Written by Alexis Toliva

Growing up in Florida, Taliyah faced difficult life circumstances. While being bounced between relatives and at times, living on her own, Taliyah’s response to her challenges involved numbing herself through using drugs, drinking alcohol, and skipping school. Due to her destructive lifestyle choices, Taliyah was sent to live with her father here on Oahu.

Though her living situation changed dramatically, her choices remained the same—Taliyah would often skip school and continued her alcohol and drug use. Then one day, Taliyah was introduced to May-Lynn Phillip—one of our Life Coaches for high school-aged girls. May-Lynn began mentoring Taliyah, and Taliyah remained open to being guided by someone who offered her a positive alternative to her dangerous choices and indifferent outlook on life. As time passed, Taliyah attended school more often, completely stopped her drug and alcohol use, and removed herself from friend groups who continued with those activities.

Taliyah’s actions caught the attention of our Executive Director—Warren Lilo, who acknowledged her incredible transformation and challenged her to step up to become a Junior Life Coach. Taliyah accepted Warren’s challenge and today, Taliyah mentors girls in middle school and high school! She’s also a Junior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying Elementary Education, as well as a Lead Group Leader for Summer Fun. When asked why she continues mentoring at Life 360, Taliyah shared, "Life 360 gave me a safe space to ask for help about challenges I was going through. They gave me a voice and that's something I want to provide for others." Taliyah’s story is yet another example of the transformative impact Life 360 Network has made in the lives of youth and young adults.

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