Star’s story – Emerge
Star entered ChildServ’s Emerge Program, which aids homeless young adults, on May 5, 2015. Despite struggling with financial resources and finding a place to live, Star strived to attend a four-year university.
With assistance from Kimberly, her caseworker, Star enrolled at Chicago State University, with a concentration in Early Child Care Education. “The encouragement and support I received from Kimberly really helped me take that first step toward my goal,” said Star. She also connected with Operation Push’s summer mentorship program, which encourages youth to realize their dreams.
In addition to her studies, Star took advantage of Emerge’s other supportive services, including life skills training, to create greater stability in her life; Star and her Operation Push mentor also found a grant that would pay for her tuition.
This past August, Star received a phone call informing her of her acceptance into Maryland State University, where she plans on majoring in Early Childhood Education, with a minor in Pre-School Education.
Lonny and Deedee’s story – Early Childhood
Deedee and her young family live in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood—known for its high rates of crime, poverty and unemployment. In addition to raising her children, Deedee supports her mother and little sister, who lives with special needs.
Shortly after giving birth to Lonny, her third child, Deedee met Tracie, a parent educator with ChildServ’s Parent Empowerment Program (PEP), at a community fair. The two women formed a bond as Deedee shared her concerns about her ability to manage family and work.
Grace’s story – Group Homes
It’s been a long road with many unexpected turns, but with ChildServ’s help, one teen has finally found the path to success.
Eighteen-year-old Grace first came to ChildServ’s Naperville group home in December of 2015, after 12 difficult years of trying to find safe, stable and supportive housing as a ward of the State.
Eva’s story – Family Childcare Homes
The first time Eva walked into ChildServ’s Lake County location, she had a black eye, and looked at the ground when she spoke. She was interested in learning more about the Family Childcare Homes Program (FCCH), but more important, she was looking for hope.