KC Crino


More Than Mentoring
In Joliet, Illinois

story
August 8, 2017
ITeams
ITeams

We work on the east side of Joliet, IL with the immigrant and homeless community. Because it is a transportation and warehouse district, many immigrants and transients come into this area.

We collaborate with many organizations, schools, and churches in Joliet discovering both the assets and the needs in the community. We are collaborating with many partners to start a mentoring program for at-risk students and are also helping reintegrate students who have expulsion warnings back into healthy relationships.

A collaborative partnership for students

Judson Church, Kids Hope USA, and ITeams have begun working together. Seventeen people from the church mentor a child for an hour at Sator Sanchez Elementary School changing the lives of both the children and the mentors. Academic scores are rising, mentors are connecting with families outside of school for picnics, Vacation Bible School, baseball games, and even playing at local water parks. Jesus’ love is being shown in very tangible ways.

Recently, a volunteer from Judson Church came to the school to teach the 5th grade class how to build birdhouses. This relationship between our church and the community painted a beautiful picture of what can happen when groups of people work together.

We have also become involved in problem-solving circles in two of Joliet’s high schools. Students who have received expulsion warnings are given the opportunity to participate in problem solving. They meet once a week for a month to work out issues with their families and those they have wronged. The love of Jesus has been shared many times during these encounters and we are seeing lives transformed and many relationships restored.