For as long as she can remember, Christa* wanted to be a pediatrician. She loved taking care of kids and making sure they were healthy.

And when she entered ChildServ’s Emerge program in 2018, Christa and her case manager Phyllis made sure to keep her on track to achieve that goal.

Christa’s childhood was difficult, filled with family conflict and instability. As a teenager, she stayed at friends’ houses, but knew that wasn’t sustainable. She eventually tried to find a place at Featherfist, a housing program on Chicago’s South side, but they were full.

Then, she heard about Emerge and found the stability she needed.

During their first meeting, Christa and Phyllis talked about her desire to be a doctor and put a plan in place to make it happen. With an apartment of her own, Christa was able to focus on her studies at National Louis University. She also found a part-time job as a Certified Nursing Assistant at North Shore Hospital and then later in the neonatal department at Lurie Children’s Hospital, in Chicago.

These jobs both cemented her love of working with children and provided valuable experience and income to help her become self-sufficient.

Christa also made time to see her Emerge Therapist to help her process and heal from trauma associated with her family life and being homeless.

In June of 2019, Christa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from National Louis University. She is currently searching for a program that will allow her to continue her studies so she can accomplish her goal of becoming a pediatrician to keep children happy and healthy.

Christa is set to successfully complete the Emerge program in mid-2020, with the resources, skills and knowledge to thrive as an independent young adult.

*For their privacy and safety, our client’s name has been changed.