There’s no better metaphor for new life than the transition of winter into spring. I love the way C. S. Lewis describes it in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:
Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow. Soon, wherever you looked, instead of white shapes you saw the dark green of firs or the black prickly branches of bare oaks and beeches and elms. Then the mist turned from white to gold and presently cleared away altogether. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor . . .
More than four decades later, she’s still working with the organization, now as a teacher with The Salvation Army’s New Hope Head Start program. For her career of service, Stevenson was recently honored as the Illinois Head Start Association’s Teacher of the Year.
Stevenson, who put her own children through Head Start, has been teaching in The Salvation Army’s childcare programs for 33 years. She says it’s been a “wonderful opportunity to serve children and their families from diverse cultures.” She works primarily with African-Americans and Hispanics, and says she has “gained much from years of experience working in a bilingual and diverse cultural environment.” Read More
Things got even harder when my mother was incarcerated, leaving just me, my 13-year-old sister, and my unborn baby. We were essentially homeless, until we ended up moving in with my grandparents.
I decided to enroll at Simpson Academy, the only public school for pregnant girls and teen mothers in Illinois. The school has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent, so I knew I’d get a good education and, hopefully, go on to college. Read More
Just ask Brianna (11), Arianna (9), and Jayden (8), who had the time of their lives last summer at The Salvation Army’s Wonderland Camp.
As soon as they boarded the bus in their gritty Englewood neighborhood for the two-hour ride to camp, all three were giddy with excitement.
“The first night we had a campfire,” says Brianna. “I made s’mores for the first time!” Read More
Guest blog post by Susan Gillette.
Being a single mom isn’t easy. It’s even harder if you also happen to be a teenager with hopes of finishing high school and dreams of going to college one day.
The statistics are stark. Only 38% of teens who have a child before they turn 18 graduate from high school. And one in three of these very young teen mothers will be on welfare by the time their child is three years old.
Sadly, Chicago is among the 25 school districts with the highest rates of teen pregnancies.
Into this challenging landscape comes the Chicago Public School system’s Simpson Academy for Young Women, located in Chicago’s Medical District. The school serves teenage girls in grades 6 through 12 who are either pregnant or single mothers, and is the only school of its kind in Illinois. In partnership with Rush Medical Center and The Salvation Army, the Simpson Academy is creating an innovative model for giving young mothers and their children the support they need to succeed. Read More