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Turning dark times into a bright future

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Studies show that if young students miss just 18 days of school, fail a core subject, or receive multiple detentions or suspensions, they are far less likely to graduate than their peers. Focus House in Ogle County, which receives funding from United Way, supports students who meet that criteria so that they stay on track to graduate and become productive members of our community.

Recently, 14-year-old Jessica* was referred to Focus House by court order after being charged with a serious offense. Rather than sitting in juvenile jail until her case was resolved, Jessica was released on condition that she attend programming at Focus House. By working with Jessica, officers were able to assist the 14-year-old and her parents in developing ways to manage her anger issues. During her month in the program, Jessica improved her grades and built healthier life and social skills.

Following completion of the program, Jessica began volunteering and became involved in several extra-curricular activities at school. Six months removed from Focus House, she was still maintaining her positive attitude and improved performance in school.

Our donors provide the funding that allows Focus House to help Jessica and so many others like her, giving our community’s most disadvantaged residents a far better chance at success.

*Not actual name

Last modified on
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For thousands of area youth, middle school is the defining moment in their lives. See how United Way and its partners are creating a movement to help middle school students achieve success. Visit www.movethemiddlenow.org.

Parents or guardians of children ages birth to five who are residents of Meridian CUSD #223 can register for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library today!

Don't wait another day. Call 2-1-1 to connect with information on counseling programs and support groups to help you reestablish safety and independence.

This free, easy-to-use tool connects your time and talent with volunteer opportunities from local nonprofit organizations. Search by interests and time availability.

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