“[You] see young people come from the scenarios that when they start, they’re wide-eyed and hopeful but also, at the same time unsure,” she explained. “And they’ve had promises made to them in the past and have been let down many, many times before … and I’m asking them to trust this whole group of new people, to trust that we can support them, and that’s a scary thing [for them].
“I still have a lot of my guys that I moved in still living here and to see their success and how much they’ve grown, it’s so, so, so rewarding.”
It was also during her time in Admissions that, while compiling a resource guide, that Juan Medina, Manager of Community Partnerships and Marketing, and Daniel Nelson, Director of Boys Campus Programs and AfterCare, brought her the idea of forming a Community Partners program that connected social service providers and educate everyone on the resources available in the field. And now, almost three years after its inaugural meeting, the program is still going strong and connecting organizations across Chicagoland.
Last year, Alexa felt ready to try something new, just about the same time as the position of program manager is Quille Home opened. She had worked closely with two of the former program managers, Cody McDonald and Cristen Brossok, and was interested in the new challenge.
“I consider myself a pretty ambitious person [in] wanting to advance myself as an individual [and] in my professional life,” she said.
After speaking with the Director of Admissions and Clinical Development Kari Sikich and Katy Sikich, the Director of Young Adult Program, who both agreed she would be a good fit, things moved forward quickly.
“Once the Sikich sisters have an idea in their heads, it’s pretty much unstoppable,” she laughed.
And after a hectic start that coincided with the holiday season, Alexa settled into position and fell in love with working with our oldest kids.
“I just told Tom [Gilardi, the Vice President of Youth Programs] the other day, I hope no one’s trying to get rid of me anytime soon because I’m starting to get real comfy in this position,” she said.