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Stories

 Experience the Lives Transformed by St. Joseph Services

Tennis

They had a blast!
Read Jenny’s story!

Ramata

Ramata wants to become a US citizen.
Read Ramata’s story!

Alex

“I am honored to be a part of such a loving community…”
Read Alex’s story!

Fernando quote
Yvonne thumbnail (1)
“See, I’m doing better now!”
Read Yvonne’s story!
Sue Moore thumbnail
“I want to support that effort.”
Read Sue’s story!
Sr. Marsha thumbnail
“I…am grateful for the lives that have touched mine.”
Read Sr. Marsha’s story!

 

 Tennis

Thanks to the generosity of Jennifer Spence and Julie Klare, St. Joseph Services’ After School program at St. Angela School in Austin was able to participate in tennis for the first time. This Spring, Julie and Jennifer taught the 5th through 8th grade students tennis basics for six weeks. They had a blast! St. Joseph Services designs youth programming to expand participants’ life experiences by introducing them to new activities. Doing so can open up their minds to the many positive alternatives, opportunities and possibilities beyond their neighborhood and culture.

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Ramata

Ramata wants to become a US citizen. Searching for a better life, she and her husband immigrated to Chicago from New Guinea, Africa. Ramata has been a stay-at-home mom raising two children who are now in college. She speaks English fluently, but never attended school or learned to read or write.Ramata enrolled in St. Joseph Services’ Adult Education classes and now receives weekly, individualized, one-on-one instruction. Her tutor, Sister Germaine, proudly reports that Ramata has successfully written her first two sentences ever!  Although Ramata still has a way to go, with hard work and the support of our dedicated volunteer tutors, she plans to take the US citizenship test this Fall.

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 Alex

Alex believes in Divine Providence; that’s how he describes his relationship with St. Joseph Services. As the Senior Engineer at Josephinum Academy since 2013, he collaborates with us at our administrative office space.  Alex values SJS as a caring community. At a time when he needed a structured summer program for his young daughter, Vanessa, he gratefully enrolled her in our summer camp. Later, when his older daughter Nancy needed summer employment, SJS hired her as a camp instructor. She remains on staff as a part-time instructor in our After School program.  Regarding St. Joseph Services, Alex comments, “SJS has done a lot for the Humboldt Park community by offering programs for all age groups—children to adults—that empower through learning opportunities. The staff truly goes above and beyond expectations by going the extra mile to ensure everyone’s needs are met. I am honored to be a part of such a loving community that continues to flourish each and every day.”

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Yvonne Yvonne remembers a history of getting into trouble and into fights with other kids.  She believes these problems would have continued if she hadn’t become part of St. Joseph Services’ After School program.  While discussing the various mentors she loves at SJS, her face brightens as she explains how they encourage her to stay focused.  Thanks to their help with homework and reassuring support, her grades improved dramatically.  Yvonne emphasizes that her instructor inspires her to succeed and praises her progress. Smiling proudly as she shows off her recent progress report, Yvonne beams “See, I’m doing better now!”

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Sue Moore

Before returning to Chicago, Sue taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to middle school and adult students in Houston. “Having moved around quite a bit,” she explains, “I have an appreciation for the challenges presented to my students as they learn a new language and adapt to a new culture.” Sue has volunteered as an ESL teacher at St. Joseph Services since 2012. More recently, she expanded her reach to the workplace programs as well, because, “It’s a great thing for a company to do. It’s difficult for non-native English speakers to fit classes in…I want to support that effort.” Sue describes her students as “wonderful, valiant people who work hard to provide the best possible lives they can for their families.”

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Sr. Marsha

Sr. Marsha Tierney, a Daughter of Charity, has been on staff of St. Joseph Services since 2006. As the Director of Adult Education, she teaches ESL to adults at our Humboldt Park site and coordinates classes in Avondale. She was instrumental  in starting ESL classes at St. Catherine Labore in Glenview.

Her students impress her with their efforts to learn English. “I see in the students their determination and persistence. They’re motivated and faithful to their studies,” she beams. Sr. Marsha expresses that the moment when her pupils “see the light” is one of her favorite things about teaching. She also enjoys working with the tutors, supporting and encouraging the volunteers so they can work effectively. She characterizes the volunteers as “dedicated, generous, professional, compassionate, [and] …a joy to work with.”

St. Joseph Services and Sr. Marsha’s students are grateful to her for her humble service and love. “I have enjoyed my years at St. Joseph Services,” she recollects, “and am grateful for the lives that have touched mine.”

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