Through their own hard work and the intensive and patient support of mentors and case managers, young people are able to make remarkable strides amidst some very daunting circumstances …

“Three of our most challenged Associates have been consistently attending school, with two scheduled to graduate this summer, and one expected to graduate next year. The two Associates scheduled to graduate this summer are employed, and both are nurturing fathers to their beautiful daughters. It truly is good to see them all in a good place, knowing that they once struggled with lack of stability, gang involvement, and no motivation to excel in life. However, due to consistence, support, resources, and attentive deep mentoring; the Mentors began to see behavioral improvements from a renewed belief that they can create a better life for themselves and their children.”

“I am delighted to inform you of an absolute awesome success story.  Upon locating this young man, his mentor found him in a state of depression and anger. His mother informed him that he was no longer welcomed at their home due to his disobedience and disrespect. Their relationship was a toxic one.

This resulted in homelessness, and trying to locate a shelter for him immediately. The young man was not enrolled in school and he also solicited drugs on the street. Later on we found out that his girlfriend was pregnant, which meant he would soon be a father.

His mentor began weekly deep mentoring sessions, which sometimes led to twice a week. His mentor discovered that he was not motivated to do anything, due to feeling like no cared about him. He was in such a state of not trusting anyone!  In the beginning, we had to deal with a youth who lied constantly, was inconsistent with follow through, and showed intense aggression at times when it came to engaging with his Mentor, the team (other mentors), and his peers.  

As the deep mentoring and following up with resources and support (something the youth had not experienced) continued, we began to see a change take place. Not only did this young man begin to participate in the program, he also enrolled back in school with encouragement from his mentor. The mentor’s colleague (team effort!) convinced the young man’s mother to allow him to come home with the condition that he would stay enrolled in school and respect the rules of the house. He ecstatically accepted the request!

I am proud to report that this young man is on track for graduation in June. He’s working and performing well on his job.  The relationship with his mother is blooming, due to interpersonal and life skills mentoring sessions. He is a nurturing father to his beautiful daughter and playing a part in meeting her every need. He also remains an active participant in the BBF SYNC Program. I would consider him one of our awesome youth leaders.”

“Bill was one of [our] previous success stories. Since earning his GED and gaining employment, he lost his job. He took it pretty hard and began reverting back to lashing out in anger at his mother. His mentor spent a lot of time with him one-on-one to help him regain control of himself and his situation. She let him know that he was still in a great place after completing his juvenile probation requirement and receiving his GED.
Bill reclaimed his confidence and decided to pursue his vision of becoming a Pharmacy Technician. He enrolled in Job Corp and is now living on campus.”

“Seventy percent of our youth have been specifically working on their interpersonal relationships, noting that they are receiving more direction and guidance without push-back, or challenging the Mentors. Also, some parent relationships have improved as well as their peer to peer interactions. We are grateful for every small highlight, as they are great successes when faced with many challenged and trauma situations.”

“Trenelle, 18, was experiencing many challenges in addition to being a ward of the state. He struggled with focusing and controlling his anger in challenging situations. He also lacked consistency and structure as it related to keeping appointments and work schedules. Despite many obstacles, Trenelle always spoke about his plans to attend college to study medicine. Through one-on-one mentoring, conflict resolution group workshops, and onsite counseling sessions here at WHA, he gained an understanding about what it takes to control his temper and practiced organization skills and accountability as a way to meet his goals. Trenelle has persevered through adversity to be the first of his family to go to college. With constant encouragement and assistance from our mentoring team, he has proudly stepped into the next level of his development at Northern Illinois University.”