My name is Terence, and if it weren’t for The Salvation Army, I don’t know where I’d be today.
Sometime between the 8th and 9th grade, I lost interest in school. All I cared about were sports, goofing off, and girls. I started getting bad grades, but I just didn’t care anymore. I quit going to class, and ended up having to repeat my freshman year.
Ecclesiastes speaks of “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
For siblings Tiara and DiShawn Currin, any time is a time to dance. They are regulars at The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center in the West Loop, where they practice and, on Sundays, perform praise dance for the worship service.
It’s an escape in more ways than you might imagine. They regularly walk past drug dealers and through gang territories on their way to school, parks, and even the Corps.
Ted Johnson so strongly believes in The Salvation Army’s music program that he donated $4,000. As principal of Allesandro Volta Elementary School in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, he sees the benefits of music for his students.
Wanda Stevenson was just 15 in 1970 when she did an internship with Head Start, working with preschoolers, as part of her high school graduation requirement.
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.” Continue reading “She Got a Head Start…”