Thanks from St. Joseph Services for their partnership with Marillac Coming Home
St. Joseph Services (SJS), one of the two Chicago Daughters of Charity Chicago missions we support through Coming Home, educates youth and adults, developing values and talents through collaboration to strengthen communities. SJS provides programs in two of the Chicago neighborhoods most affected by poverty and violence: Austin and Humboldt Park. They also provide English as a Second Language and Citizenship classes for adults in Avondale, Glenview and Des Plaines.
The following is a letter of thanks to Coming Home from SJS for our support:
St. Joseph Services would like to thank Marillac Coming Home for your support of youth and adult programming in Austin, Humboldt Park, Avondale, Glenview and Des Plaines. We are excited to share some of our organizational successes, as well as program specifics, over the past year with you.
The SJS Youth Program had a tremendous year and served over 500 youth and young adults. As you may recall, the Youth Program is comprised of the After School Program, Seasonal Camps and Open Gym, in addition to the recently created Basketball Shootout League. SJS is excited to continue growing the Youth Program and our impact in the Austin and Humboldt Park communities.
Youth in the After School Program showed improvements in their study and homework skills compared to last year. Report cards also showed the vast majority of students carried at least a 2.0 GPA or higher. This coincided with an increase in students receiving tutoring from SJS Youth Instructors and volunteers.
A great example of this academic achievement is seen in the After School Program second grader Chris. Chris was struggling with his grades and at the recommendation of his teachers began working with an SJS tutor. He steadily improved his grades in all subjects and became more enthusiastic about school. On his report card, Chris made all A’s and one B, although he was a little disappointed with the one B he received! Chris also displayed a better attitude and more self-confidence. His tutor and youth instructors have been amazed with the incredible turnaround he has made in such a short time.
The Winter, Spring and Summer Camps were a great success and reached capacity for participants once again. The Shootout Basketball League got underway in June and the hope is to expand the number of teams from 12 to 14.
SJS Adult programming provided over 280 students with courses available day and night, six days a week. Courses included English as a Second Language (ESL), Computer Literacy, and Citizenship for adults who need assistance. In the ESL Program, the average increase in test scores for beginning and intermediate students far exceeded scores from last year. The Computer Literacy classes are in great demand, and enrollment was increased from 60 students in the Fall semester to 90 students for the Spring semester. And, there was a waiting list! Another proud accomplishment was having eleven students pass their citizenship test to become American citizens.
The Professional Advancement for Intern Development (PAID) Program provided 24 youth and young adult internship and career development programming to provide a pathway out of poverty through training, employment and mentoring. For SJS employees, the program offers training in Vincentian spirituality formation, technology, leadership, personal finance, academic planning and employment readiness. An incredible outcome of the PAID Program this last year was the recent promotion of five Interns from part-time to full-time positions. Their job training and skills acquisition from the PAID Program made their promotions “no brainers.” SJS is thrilled with the addition of these full-time staff members and the fact that their employment at SJS is not just a job, but a significant step forward in their career path.
The newest PAID Program component, known as Community Mentoring, includes young adults from the community referred by the SJS Basketball Program and partner organizations. The SJS Community Mentoring Program is designed to create a lasting change in the lives of participants by assisting in strategies designed to strengthen and develop their skills and their access to opportunities for growth. Programming is comprised of the Community Mentoring Internship (CMI) program and the Community Mentoring Apprenticeship (CMA) program.
The CMI program provides Interns with 15 weeks of rigorous training to prepare them for employment in many sectors. The CMI Interns work on soft skills, basic employment skills, technical skills, and key personal skills. Incredibly, every graduate of our last session was extended employment at their sponsor organization. The second session started this Fall.
The CMA program consists of collaboration with skilled professionals to expose participants to a variety of trades. The primary focus is career-driven workforce development. The first CMA module was a union Painters Pre-Apprenticeship Program. In total, six modules were completed and included barbering, cosmetology, manufacturing, welding, and computer software and troubleshooting.
The Marillac Coming Home donations for the Youth and Adult programming is enabling SJS to continue providing excellent educational, recreational and enrichment curriculum and services to local students. Your generous support is making a significant impact on SJS’s mission to help uplift youth and adults affected by violence and poverty through supportive programming for those in need. This funding is contributing directly towards programming costs, including teaching supplies and salaries for instructors.
St. Joseph Services is truly grateful for our partnership with Marillac Coming Home. Together, we are making a lasting impact in the communities we serve. Thank you again for your support of our mission to provide opportunities for a more successful future for those who need it most.