This is particularly impressive in light of the statistics. Over the past 30 years, only half of students attending state-run schools (known as “public schools” in the US) successfully finished their high-school careers.
This fantastic achievement is testament to the great work SOS Children is doing in Chicago. Located in a housing community in the Auburn-Gresham neighbourhood in the South Side of the city, our Village is home to nearly 200 young people, and includes an community centre which provides support to vulnerable families in the surrounding community.
Though the US is a prosperous nation, many poorer families lack an internet connection or even access to a computer. Countless children struggle to socialise with others their own age and our Chicago Village offers a haven where they can share a movie or just valuable playtime with other youngsters.
Nurturing academic talent
In May this year, our Chicago Village received a very special visit from Lynn Croneberger, SOS Children's Chief Executive in the United States. After touring the Village, Lynn had the privilege of meeting some of this year’s academic stars and sharing in the pride felt in this wonderful community.
First, she met Kayla’s SOS mother. Kayla first came to the Village as a young girl. Now, she is doing so well at high school that she has enrolled in a special university STEM programme for students with a flair for maths and the sciences. Always a bright child, Kayla has benefited from a caring family and a nurturing upbringing which has allowed her to blossom and grow, and we know that this academic superstar will go on to achieve great things in her university career.
Taisha too grew up in our Chicago Village. Thanks to hard graft at school, she is now a college graduate and returns to the Village over summer as a volunteer. She is just one of many SOS children from around the world who feel a lifelong tie to the place where they grew up, coming back to help another generation flourish and succeed like they did. With her own determination, the love of an SOS mother, and the support of SOS Children, Taisha has grown into a conscientious young woman who truly cares about the world around her.
So today, on this most momentous of days in the American calendar, share in our celebration of the fantastic success achieved at our Village in Chicago. We wish all of our graduates the very best in their upcoming college courses!