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  • Writer's pictureAbby Ellis

Finding a Future

Before coming to Association House High School, many of our students think graduation is impossible. Traditional schools often ignore the many circumstances preventing students from making it to graduation day. But here at Association House, our teachers, counselors, and mentors walk alongside students to help them achieve their goals.

Constance walking at graduation to receive her high school diploma.

After Constance welcomed her daughter, Key, into the world, she realized she had to grow up fast. With no support from her adoptive family, Constance and Key moved from Indiana to Chicago in search of a better life.

“I left with just me and my baby. I found a shelter; and it was a rocky transition because I didn’t know how to find other assistance," says Constance.

Constance worked hard to provide the formula, food, and necessities needed to care for her daughter. As she made friends, they introduced her to vital resources, like Association House.

Two and a half years had passed since Constance dropped out of high school. She didn’t think, she could ever finish. However, when Constance stepped through the doors of Association House, she knew she was in the right place. Constance was met with a

supportive community determined to help her reach her goals.

Constance’s daughter, Key, playing in the Family Literacy Program.

“When I first came here, they welcomed me with open arms. It’s like a breath of relief

because when I come here I have the support while I try to succeed,” Constance says.

Teachers helped Constance stay on track with schoolwork. Mentors provided her with the resources needed to take care of her family. And the Family Literacy Program provided a safe place for Key while Constance focused on her studies.

A couple years later, Constance found herself on stage at graduation, sharing her story in front of the people who believed in her the most. Friends who introduced her to the lifeline that is Association House. Teachers and mentors who went the extra mile to ensure she was at school and completing assignments. She even reunited with her biological family, who she had not seen since she was four years old.

Constance shared, “I made the decision that I didn’t want to be the girl that failed… We have potential that stands higher than no mountain anyone has ever seen."

Association House meets individuals where they are and helps them unlock their potential. Constance is now studying in the EMT Paramedics Program at Malcolm X College. She has received $12,000 in scholarships and aspires to become a physical therapist.

Not everyone’s journey is the same. As we celebrate Constance’s story, we are reminded of the remarkable transformation that can happen when individuals receive the right support. Association House is committed to uplifting and empowering the people in our community to live their fullest life.



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