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December 13, 2019

What makes Friends of the Children–Chicago unique?

Three short stories about youth in our program

Three things that make Friends of the Children–Chicago unique:

  1. We intentionally identify and serve the children facing the greatest risk factors such as poverty, violence and abuse.
  2. We commit to children and their families for 12+ years, no matter what.
  3. Each child is paired with a full-time, salaried and trained Professional Mentor, called a "Friend."

Three short stories about youth in our program:

  • Brian is a second-grader, full of curiosity and exuberance. He’s an awesome kid, who is living a very challenging life. Over the last 18 months, Brian has moved 30 times, attended six schools and been removed from his mother’s custody twice. The only consistent relationship that Brian has had through all this is his Friend, Felix.
  • Diamond loves to draw and has a vivid imagination. She missed more than 120 days of kindergarten and started first grade knowing only 15 letters of the alphabet. In addition to helping Diamond learn her letters, Diamond’s Friend, Phalon, is working closely with her mom to create more structure at home so that Diamond attends school regularly.
  • Zion is very smart and loves all things basketball. This past summer, when his father returned from prison, his mother decided that Zion was too difficult to handle. After six years of living with his mother and half-brother, Zion moved in with his father. All this change and instability has greatly affected Zion. He has become more impulsive and quick to get into fights. Zion’s Friend is working to help Zion feel safe and secure and is helping him practice talking through his anger and sadness.

These children all have the profound potential to change the world.

All they need is someone to stand beside them–for the long haul.

If we provide them with stability and support, they can break the generational cycle of poverty, violence, and trauma. They can rewrite their own stories and lift up the community around them.

That’s exactly where Friends of the Children–Chicago comes in. Will you join us?

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