Marillac High School Alums’ Donations Payoff
Directly Support Daughter of Charity Mission at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services
“Make a difference.” You heard it in homeroom your first day of high school freshman year, and repeated again and again until you graduated in Marillac’s theater. Every one of us who had the gift of a Marillac High School education learned from the Daughters of Charity to be a catalyst for change. When we hosted our little visitors from Marillac House each year at Nuf Yad, we made a difference. Likewise, when we collected coats and canned food in the student center for the poor, we made a difference. The Coming Home effort is pulling our alumni together again to ignite change, not in Northfield but close by, on the west side of Chicago. Exactly how does our support of the Marillac High School Coming Home Campaign serve the Daughters’ mission? Let Domonique tell you what services your donations directly support. These are the programs that changed her life.
“I don’t remember much, but I remember it was fun!” Domonique Jones was trying to recall her earliest memories at Marillac St. Vincent. She started as a toddler in the Early Childhood Education Program, before her childhood memories started to become cemented in her mind. “I remember graduating from preschool and I remember Ms. Janae – so much love.”
From diapers to diploma, Domonique’s life has been shaped by her experiences on Chicago’s west side, and her involvement in the programs at Marillac House, “It’s really a hub for people in my community,” shared Domonique. Marillac’s partnership with After School Matters performing arts-focused program for teens helped Domonique grow from a shy and guarded teen into an outspoken leader in her school and community.
Domonique said, “I think it’s really hard for girls, especially, to come out of their shells, make friends, and find their voices.” After graduating from high school, Domonique was hired as a Youth Mentor in the Hope Junior program while she works on her Associates Degree in Business Administration at Harold Washington College. Working with girls in the program has been Domonique’s passion. “I try to help the girls get out of their comfort zone in the same way my mentors did for me. To put down their phones and get out of the social media haze and really interact with each other and form positive relationships.”
In April, Domonique was invited by the Archdiocese to speak at a Good Friday March for Peace in Englewood, a kickoff to Cardinal Blasé Cupich’s new anti-violence initiative. She read names of individuals who have lost their lives to gun violence in the last year. Domonique lost her 17-year-old cousin, Steven Jefferson, in January. “I’m still working through it but being here and working with the kids every day makes it easier. I look at them, and it makes me want to work that much harder to protect them and keep them on the path of empowerment.”
After Domonique gets her degree in December of this year, she plans to go for her bachelors in Early Childhood Education. “I’d love to develop a mini Marillac House someday in another area that needs it!” Domonique is among many program participants at Marillac St. Vincent who have gone through the full cycle of our continuity of care model, starting at the earliest stages of life into adulthood. “This is my family. This is all I know. How could I not want to give back and help others walk my walk and learn from my experiences?”
Every dollar our Marillac High School classmates donate goes directly to the programs that influenced Domonique’s success. To learn more about MSV Early Childhood, Hope Junior, After School Matters, and Youth Mentorship Programs, visit www.marillacstvincent.org where you can also watch a video of Domonique’s speech at the Good Friday Peace March alongside Cardinal Blasé Cupich. To contribute to the Marillac Coming Home Campaign, go to marillachighschool.org/donate. And if you want to become more involved in helping to locate more alums and support the Daughters of Charities mission with your high school classmates, contact marillachighschool.org/connect.