“Being embraced, enveloped, feeling warmth, secure, it really is an image to me of what we’re about at Mercy Home in so many ways,” he said. “Creating an environment, an opportunity, a future, a hope, a dream for our young people who we celebrate tonight.”
He also congratulated Mercy Home’s 52 graduates and commended their hard work.
“That’s accomplished through your hard work, dedication, your belief in yourself and the dreams you have,” he said. “It’s accomplished by any array of coworkers who believe in you, who embrace and envelope your dreams as well. To all of our young people, congratulations on completing another year of school.”
After dinner, Sierra of Couderc Home addressed the audience and shared how she overcame academic struggles while at Mercy Home, and how being here inspired her to pursue a career in art therapy. Following Sierra’s speech, Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy was presented with the Education Partnership Award for “outstanding commitment to students’ academic and personal growth” by Fr. Scott and Kordny Rainey-Robinson, the senior coordinator of education resources.
Two special awards were also given out: Clemente from Quille Home received the Mary Dempsey Scholar Award and Destiny of Couderc Home received the Bill Gainer Spirit of Service Award. The Bill Gainer Award is a new award presented this year, in honor of longtime friend of the Home and board member Bill Gainer, who passed away earlier this year. Bill’s mentee, Rick Erickson of AT&T, was there to honor both Bill and Destiny.