"The CBCC gave me my first job and at the end of the summer my job helped me become patient and assertive. I worked with children and was able to learn patience, and gain knowledgeable experience. Now I want to become a teacher."
11th Grade Student in WorkReady Program
"I like the after-school program because it is fun and it keeps me safe. I get to do my homework, eat snack and play with my friends. I have made so many new friends and now I like to go to school!"
4th Grader from St. Veronica (excerpt from the documentary)
"As a single parent that works, I need to know that my child is safe. I am so blessed to have the after-school program where I know my daughter will be loved and safe and to have that piece of mind."
Parent from St. Martin de Porres OST Program (excerpt from video)
"Thanks for everything … I really do not know what I would do with work and all … It is good to know that my kids have a place to be.."
Luke, single father of 2 children, ages 7 and 11
"The program is great....we have been here since it opened....we love the staff, convenience and the help with homework … Summer is great with the trips and all of the activities that the kids participate in...and I hope that it will still be open for my 2 year old!"
Diane, working mom of 3 children
"I really like it here … I like storytime … if I did not come here I would go to the babysitter and I could not see my friends …"
Abby, age 6
"This place is really awesome … there is so much to do."
Maeson, age 5
"The afterschool program is a great benefit to the students. The young children have a chance to do something positive and engage in academic activities that helps to keep the youth off the dangerous streets. After school programs also give children a chance to interact with other children, young and old. The after school program is a great opportunity to help our children for the future to succeed and be all they can be."
Felicia, Group Leader, St. Malachy
"I really don't need the after-school program because my son can just walk home everyday, but he INSISTED I sign him up because all his friends go here. So, I took off work today to sign him up!"
Parent of 4th grade student
A Path Toward Success
When a child can't live in her own home, it can be a daunting task to safeguard her well-being. Mya is one such little girl. Her mother, who loves Mya greatly, was unable to take care of her due to her own struggles with mental illness
The Foster Family Care program of Catholic Social Services helps in difficult situations like Mya's. They provide a nurturing home environment for children in need due to social or economic circumstances. Foster families are carefully chosen after a lengthy process and receive ongoing supervision, training and support. Only the most qualified families serve as foster families.
While living with her foster family, Mya attended school and learned to appreciate her strengths. At the same time, Mya's mother sought mental health counseling and parenting classes. Working with her social workers from the Department of Human Services and Catholic Social Services, Mya's mother found a new home for herself and her daughter in a supervised independent-living facility. Here they both receive the support they need to continue on their path toward success.
The little family continues to move ahead. They keep in touch with their foster family and with the staff of Catholic Social Services. They know they are not alone in this world.
Life is Full of Obstacles
Ernie has lived a difficult life and has run into his share of troubles. When he landed in trouble with the law, he and his family feared the worst. But instead, he was placed at St. Gabriel's Hall, a residential program for adolescents facing legal problems.
Ernie is one of over two hundred boys benefitting from this remarkable program, a division of Catholic Social Services. Not only is he working towards his high school diploma at St. Gabriel's, he is also learning to be accountable for his actions and to take responsibility for his life. The staff is working with Ernie, the court, and Ernie's family to plan for his next step - leaving St. Gabe's. The possibilities for Ernie are greater now due to his spiritual development and the vocational and social skills he gained in the program.
Ernie hasn't always made the best decisions in his life, but now equipped with new competencies, a positive attitude, and self confidence, he is better prepared to become a responsible and productive member of the community. As Ernie states, "Life is full of obstacles and God put them there for a reason, to show you how to succeed."
Sharing is Caring
"Peace of mind. That's what I feel when I drop Matthew off at Casa del Carmen Academy. It's not easy leaving him each day, but I know that he's safe and I love that."
The Casa del Carmen Academy, one of many community-based services of Catholic Social Services, fills a void for Matthew and his mother and other families like theirs. This year, thirty-seven three-to-five year old children attend this day care program. Their days are filled with educational programming and socialization, along with a lunch and snacks.
In the two years that Matt has been enrolled at Casa, his mother has seen him blossom. The caring bilingual, bicultural staff have taught him many pre-school skills, so important to his success next year in kindergarten. Matt's mother hopes to send him to Catholic school because she believes in the educational opportunities and values there.
"Sharing is Caring" is an oft-repeated phrase at Matt's home these days. It expresses the values he learns at Casa del Carmen, ones that will influence his life for years to come.