Stories of Resilience & Success
Emma is a 17-year-old female who attends Sycamore Schools. She was referred due to a history of depression, self-harm, high levels of anxiety and past trauma. Emma engaged in services quickly and easily but struggled to attend school, complete assignments and was quickly facing the potential of truancy charges as well as not being able to graduate. During this time, Emma also experienced a change in living situation and went from living with her mother to living with her father. Emma worked to improve her depression by engaging in self-care, attending school and being open to the AVES program through Sycamore. Not only did Emma completely catch up almost one full grade in a year, she is now successfully attending school daily, has a GPA of 3.39 and is looking at taking college courses next semester. At this time, Emma is looking at a degree in Social Media Management at UC Blue Ash to attend for her first year of college, and has been able to engage in school activities and make great strides. Emma is a friendly, caring and a hard worker and paving her way to success!
Amy enrolled in the Child Focus Parent Employment & Education Program (PEEP) in December 2021. During our enrollment and follow up visits, Amy expressed a desire to help others with addiction and their sobriety. She and I researched different programs and schools that have that program available. Through talking with others in the field, Amy was able to find an online program through CEU Matrix to earn her Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA) credential. We set an employment goal of earning an occupational license and gathered all the information needed to utilize Strong Families funding, flexible funding to help stabilize families with career education fees, before and after school, food, clothing, utilities and rent. Amy has completed all of the requirements for earning her CDCA and is now in the process of applying for her license with the State. She is now working in the community as an Associate Care Manager.
Hello, my name is Lori Jarvis and I am a happily married mother of four beautiful girls ages 15, 11, 7, and 3. As much as I would love to tell you about every one of them for time consideration, I’ll just tell you about my youngest. Her name is Deleda and she is my superhero! My husband and I tried for this beautiful soul 3 weeks shy of 3 years before the universe decided she belonged with us. We knew she was the final piece for our puzzle of a family. The pregnancy went great. No complications. She was born 1 day before her due date, on my Grandfather’s birthday.
At the age of 4 months I began to notice something seemed off. She didn’t move or respond the way my other three did at that age. By six months she wasn’t sitting or even rolling over yet. Many tests and evaluations later, she was diagnosed with Left Hemiparesis Cerebral Palsy. We were told there was a high possibility she would never walk, talk or eat solid food.
Deleda received her diagnosis when she was 10 months old. After that came a whirlwind of appointments, specialist, and emotions. She has fought incredible mountains. She has defied all doctors. She is a warrior. Today she is able to walk, run, jump and climb. She can talk and excels in academics. She definitely makes me proud to be her mommy.
I couldn’t have advocated for her without someone else’s support. All of my children have attended the Child Focus Head Start program. From pregnancy to center-based and into Kindergarten, Child Focus has been in our life. It wasn’t until my 7-year-old, Joslyn, was in the program that it felt like home, like my family. This is thanks to my community advocate, Stevy Cunningham. Stevy came to us as our home visitor when Joslyn was 2 years old. She has been by our side ever since. She is not just our home visitor, she is my best friend, my support. She has helped in more ways than her job title calls for. She has gone above and beyond for her families. If I could clone her I would send her to every agency across this country so every family gets someone as special as her. She helped me get Deleda where she is today.
Stevy is the reason I have the courage to advocate for my child and all children across America. Her passion helps build my passion for a better future. She is my encouragement. Child Focus in itself has been amazing for each of my children. From building lasting friendships to preparing them for Kindergarten and beyond to helping us buy our first home. Thank you Stevy and Child Focus for everything you have done for us!