The young men of Cooke Home, our residential program for boys ages 14 to 17, have started the new year in the best way possible: by helping others!

On the kids’ last day of the holiday break, De’Mere, Octavio, and Tyler joined Day Coordinator Tara in volunteering at the Gymnastics Special Olympics. The group was assigned a team of competitors from different park districts all over Chicago who were faced with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.

The group’s duties included escorting their assigned group to each event, including high bar, pommel bar, parallel bar, vault, and floor exercises; handing out lunches; providing basic assistance; and supporting the participants through cheers and applause.

After lunch and the events were over, our kids were able to watch the award ceremony. They were excited to see that a member from their group won first place in three categories!

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, six of the young men in Cooke joined Tara and School Resources Coordinator Becca to volunteer with City Year as part of that organization’s day of service.

As part of this event, over 200 people gathered to paint murals at Gale Community Academy. The day began with an opening ceremony and our kids heard speeches from several Illinois State officials, such as Governor Bruce Rauner and Senator Dick Durbin, as wellas City Year alumni, Gale Community Academy staff, and other members of the community. Each presenter explained how important service work was to the community and how Martin Luther King, Jr. has impacted their lives.

As the kids painted, City Year members kept the energy flowing with music, dancing, chants, and laughter. Becca, who is a City Year alum, also taught the kids other mantras.

We are so proud of our young men and coworkers for their service to the community!

  1. Agueda Williams says:

    You young ones are proof that success in society comes through aiding those in the Special Olympics, in that event both groups, the competitors and aides were the winning team. Be proud of yourselves, you know how to help others, like Jesus stated you really did it to Him.

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