When Shannon* came to ChildServ, she was determined to prove to herself and others that she was ready. Ready to continue her hard work to overcome the trauma she experienced; ready to seize new opportunities; and ready to be a normal teenager.

Shannon’s childhood was difficult. She lived with her grandparents because her parents did not provide her and her three siblings with the support they needed.

At age 14, she was a victim of human trafficking and needed more help than her grandparents could give.

She became a “youth in care” and entered a residential facility to start intense therapy and continue her education. Though she did well in this program, Shannon was unable to leave and do typical things a 15-year-old would do, including going to school.

In December of 2018, Shannon entered our Naperville Group Home for girls ages 12-18. She immediately began to thrive.

She wanted to graduate high school on-time, so Shannon enrolled at both Naperville Central and Easterseals Therapeutic Day School in Chicago, which gave her the chance to learn in a classroom setting that provided more individual assistance.

Living at the group home has also given her more freedom to be a kid. She goes to the movies, the library and has a part-time job at Brown’s Chicken.

She has continued to process and heal from her trauma in therapy with Allison, ChildServ’s Associate Director of Group Homes and lead clinician. They work on recognizing and establishing healthy boundaries, as well as helping Shannon understand her family’s place in her trauma. She still loves them and hopes to re-unite with her three siblings in the future.

Shannon’s tremendous progress has her on-track to graduate from our Naperville Group Home in January of 2020. To make sure she’s ready, Shannon has participated in the group home’s life skills training sessions, learning about time management, nutrition and financial literacy.

In June of 2019, she graduated from high school. She continues to attend additional life skills programs at Easterseals. Her last credit is a driver’s education course; she’s looking forward to having the freedom of driving!

As she prepares to move into a living situation with even more independence, Shannon now has the confidence, self-esteem and emotional stability to know that her hard work has paid off and that she’ll continue to have the opportunity to be a normal teen.

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