This July, SOS Illinois held its 4th Annual All-Village Graduation Celebration where our 2019 graduates were recognized for their hard work and achievement. Once again, we celebrated a 100% high school graduation rate, made possible by your thoughtful support and dedication to our mission.
Our Fourth Annual All-Village Graduation Celebration
We are proud to share the wonderful stories of the youth and children in our care this commencement season. At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, we are fortunate enough to mark this momentous time for our graduates in a special way.
On Thursday, July 11, 2019, staff, children, Foster Parents, and our extended family (Board Members, corporate partners, and supporters) all gathered for a collective celebration of our 2019 graduates at our Lockport Village. We hold this event annually to honor the children’s academic success, let loose with field games, and enjoy being together as a community. This year, a book fair was sponsored by KPMG, as well as Summer Fun Backpacks sponsored by T-Mobile. Children were able to choose new books to take home for some exciting summer reading, as well as collect puzzles, toys, notebooks, and stuffed animals.
The guests of honor were our graduates: eighteen kindergarten graduates, ten eighth-grade graduates, and eight high school graduates. Each child was recognized during an official graduation ceremony. Other honored guests in attendance included members from our Board of Directors, with opening remarks from Board President Jim Wolfe.
We also celebrated the incredible generosity of corporate and foundation partners and sponsors who made the day’s activities possible, as well as supported educational programming throughout the year. Partners included Maestro Cares Foundation, Swissôtel Chicago, Xellia, PHMG, T-Mobile, Bridgepoint Technologies, KPMG, Bohne Foundation, Daughters of Charity, and the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. We also are thankful to have the Lockport Township High School Soccer Teams and other volunteers helping us with games, face painting, coloring, and taking pictures at our photo booth.
We are grateful to all who contributed and participated in this important SOS Illinois tradition, and we look forward to meeting again next year for this joyous occasion!
High School Graduates Enjoyed Reception with Special Guests
Following the main celebration, a special reception for high school graduates was hosted, which included Board Members and corporate and foundation partners offering praises and advice to each senior. Ted Selogie of Swissôtel Chicago shared, “Surround yourself with people you perceive as successful and you’ll have far better odds of being able to make sure you are making the right decisions, and stay focused to who you are as a human being.”
The 2019 Class of Graduates thanked staff and partners for their support and offered encouraging words to each other about not letting your past define your future. Sheera congratulated her fellow graduates and said, “Keep on pushing, and keep your determination in our mind because that is the only thing that has gotten us here today. Determination is why we are here.”
Send Words of Encouragement to 2019 Graduating Youth
According to statistics, only about 50% of children in foster care graduate from high school. That is why our 100% high school graduation rate at SOS Illinois is such a source of pride, and it’s something we are wholly dedicated to maintaining. More importantly, we commit to doing everything we can to see that all of our children matriculate to the next grade level, have the resources they need and deserve, and know that there is a community supporting them.
Your support is priceless. Even a simple gesture of supportive words has a lasting impression on our youth. Whether to those moving on to first grade or our high school graduates making plans for post-secondary education, we encourage you to send words of encouragement our youth can take with them long after they leave our Villages. We thank you and look forward to hearing from you!
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