Chandler HS student Pays It Forward to counselor who turned her life around

Posted: Updated:
High school student Cheyanne Gaffka Pays It Forward to her mental health counselor, Janice Hobbs. (Source: CBS 5) High school student Cheyanne Gaffka Pays It Forward to her mental health counselor, Janice Hobbs. (Source: CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -

Being a teenager these days isn't easy and nobody knows that more than Chandler High School mental health counselor Janice Hobbs.

"Sometimes going home is really hard for them," Hobbs said. "Sometimes they have job issues. Relationship issues are always real big."

Cheyanne Gaffka, 16, knows firsthand what a difference words of encouragement can mean.

The teen has been the target of bullying, and has dealt with depression and severe anxiety, so she went to Hobbs for help.

"I've gotten so down to the point where I haven't trusted anybody," Gaffka said. "I know I can trust Ms. Hobbs with anything."

Hobbs has helped Gaffka see that life is worth living and she's done the same for hundreds of other troubled teens.

Gaffka reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to Hobbs.

The teen and her mom surprised Hobbs in her office, with a TV news camera right behind them.

"I reached out to Channel 5 about a week ago because you have meant so much to me," Gaffka said. "School has always been a hard place for me to be at and you made it so much better. I just want to say thank you for all you've done, and we want to give you $500."

"Oh my God," Hobbs said. I am here because I love you guys and I love to be here."

Copyright 2017 KPHO (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio