Year End Appeal

Dear Friend:

Let us pretend for a moment that you are someone else. Your name is Maria. You are an 18 year old student at an affluent high school in the North Shore. You were born in this country and moved back and forth to Mexico before settling there to be closer to family when you were six years old. At the young age of eight years old you witnessed the violent and trauma-inducing death of your father. You struggled to cope for many years until making the decision to return to Glenview on your own in order to pursue your education and distance yourself from the trauma and pain of your childhood experience. You live in a small apartment with your aunt, uncle, and five cousins. You go to school all day and work a full-time job to help pay your own bills and support your mother and younger siblings in Mexico.

You struggle with academics and the language barriers and are mentally processing your own history when you share your story with a social worker at the high school. The social worker immediately identifies your need for deeper support and calls Youth Services. You are introduced to a clinician on staff named Abby.

Youth Services removes every barrier to ensure your care. Abby meets you at the high school since you do not have transportation. You qualify for scholarship mental health counseling, so receive services despite your inability to pay. Abby speaks with you in your native language, so you are able to tell her your story and process the experience, build trust together, and create a treatment plan. You begin to understand the effects of complex trauma on your life and identify that ongoing, cumulative childhood trauma has affected your ability to form secure attachments and maintain relationships.

With Abby’s support, you explore the ways that fear, hypervigilance, and the loss of your father at such a young age affect your present relationships. You realize that you have been living in “survival mode” for most of your life, which has impacted your mental and physical health and Abby works with you on self care.

You reveal your deep commitment to education and personal betterment and become the first person in your family to graduate from high school. You are considering your future career options and take on a second job. You will soon bring your younger brother from Mexico while working to make it possible for the rest of your family to follow. Youth Services supports you through the process with their wrap-around services to help your efforts in making your goals come true. You will sign a lease on an apartment for you and your brother soon after he arrives and – with the help of a Youth Services Holiday Gift donor – will be able to prepare it as a home for yourselves.

Our donors and clients are one in the same: you are all the reason that Youth Services opens its doors for every child – no matter their ability to pay. Donors and clients both ensure that Youth Services sustains its deep-rooted commitment to the community.

During this important time of giving when everyone is asked to give of themselves in deeper ways, please consider how your dollars can be shared to impact the lives of so many other children like Maria.

Thank you,

Amy O’Leary

Your support will ensure each child who comes through our doors has
the opportunity to grow up happy, healthy, and with hope.