Structure, support and a safe environment play a key role in the educational success of a child. Without the presence of these elements, any children would be in danger of failure. But thanks to the generosity and kindness of Mercy Home’s wonderful friends, my coworkers and I are able to provide our young men and women with a safe, stable home, a regular schedule, and loving care. Without this support, many of our children would still be victims of the trauma they knew before coming to Mercy Home.
If she did not have all of these necessary elements, Jeanna, one of our young girls, would undoubtedly be failing at school. But because of Mercy Home, Jeanna graduated from eighth grade in June and is attending a prestigious Chicago high school now.
Jeanna’s biological father abandoned the family when she was only two years old. It was not until long after he left that her mother began leaving Jeanna with friends and family while she began spending her money recklessly, leaving no food for her child.
As Jeanna grew up, she realized that she had a natural curiosity for education. She begged her mother to let her go to school. In fact, she would hear the other children in her building talk about kindergarten and she could not wait to go, too.
Although she loved learning and attending school, Jeanna only earned C’s and D’s. Without a place to do homework, without a good night’s sleep, and without the proper nutrition, Jeanna often did not turn in assignments, found it hard to pay attention in her classes, and often even fell asleep during school. Jeanna’s home environment was destroying her education. She had little to no support at home, and it showed it her grades.
Without this support, many of our children would still be victims of the trauma they knew before coming to Mercy Home.
When Jeanna was just twelve years old, her mother, who was only twenty-eight at the time, left Jeanna with her younger sister, for what was supposed to be the afternoon – but she never returned.
Jeanna’s aunt tried as best as she could to raise her niece, but she was only twenty-two years old and already had two children of her own. Even though Jeanna had more supervision and support at her aunt’s home, her academics did not get much better.
After Jeanna failed sixth grade, her aunt realized she needed help raising her niece, so she turned to Mercy Home for help. In order to get her ready for the school year, Jeanna was enrolled in Mercy Home’s Summer Enrichment program, which gives our children a way to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer.
At first, Jeanna was not used to the structure Mercy Home put in place for her and often rebelled. However, after school started in the fall, Jeanna made a dramatic turnaround and was placed in one of Chicago’s private elementary schools – and loved every minute of it.
With the support of Mercy Home’s coworkers and tutors, Jeanna found herself completing homework assignments, studying for tests, and showing up to school prepared. Her failing grades quickly turned into A’s and B’s and she began to take more initiative towards and ownership over her education. Jeanna was finally able to just focus on school. She no longer had to worry about where she would sleep or what she was going to eat.
Jeanna, now fifteen, takes her academics very seriously and puts a lot of effort towards earning her outstanding grades. As her coursework has gotten increasingly more difficult, she has continued to strive to maintain excellent grades. Jeanna’s drive and self-motivation enabled her to graduate from eighth grade and helped her earn a spot at one of Chicago’s premier high schools.
Now that all the young people of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls are back in school, I ask that you pray for each of them. As you know, many of them have struggled academically like Jeanna. And like Jeanna, many of the have persevered over the many obstacles they have faced throughout their young lives. Please pray that each of them might remain focused throughout this school year – on their schoolwork and on healing. Please also pray that my coworkers and I will be able to continue to provide our young people with an excellent education and the necessary programs that ensure their success. In return, know that you remain in the thoughts and prayers of our entire Mercy Home family.
A special partnership for the sake of Mercy’s kids and for our Sunday TV Mass
You can make a difference in the life of a troubled child. Fr. Scott needs Partners to pray for our kids at Mercy Home–and also faithful Partners to help broadcast Sunday Mass at Mercy Home.
By pledging your support and your prayers, you’re offering a precious gift to Mercy’s kids–and helping our community of faith join together every week.
The boys and girls of Mercy Home are very proud of the difference they are able to make just by sharing their time and heart with others. None of this would be possible without our kind, faithful supporters, for not only sharing their friendship but for also setting an example of generosity and compassion for them to follow. During this month, please keep the young people of Mercy Home and all of our generous benefactors in your thoughts and prayers.