Giving to Family Services
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Consider this … what if you moved to a community where you didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. You spend your free time caring for your siblings because you have one absentee parent and another with multiple low-wage jobs. You have no connections with peers, never mind an adult role . Would preparing for college be on your radar? Probably not. And it wasn’t on Jenifer’s when she moved to Lawrence at age 14.
Today, Jenifer is thriving. She’s pursuing a nursing degree and is surrounded by people championing her goals. What made the difference? People like YOU!
In grade 9, Jenifer joined Family Services’ Stand & Deliver mentoring program and was matched with a mentor, Karen (shown above). Stand & Deliver provides academic mentors to Lawrence students, supporting them with their schoolwork and providing a window into career success. Most importantly, mentors guide them through the difficulty of being an adolescent in a disadvantaged community. Immediately after being matched with Karen, Jenifer recognized the value of that relationship. “She made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to” she said.
As her confidence grew, Jenifer started to envision a future that included college. With Karen’s support, Jenifer made a plan to get there. Karen helped with school work, facilitated scholarship applications, and helped Jenifer network with other college students and professionals.
Jenifer is now a sophomore at Northern Essex Community College and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. As she graduated from the program, Jenifer reflected that “Family Services has done so much for me. They helped me to improve my English, guided me through the process of choosing a college...I am so grateful.”
We hope Jenifer’s story will inspire you to make this transformation possible for even more young people. Consider a contribution to Family Services so that we can continue to support Jenifer and more students like her. Thank you!