YWFS alumni Jacob (left) and Myrick (right) joined by our Youth Development coordinator, Victor (middle)

There is no shortage of good news at Westside Health Authority.  Today’s success story comes from our Youth Department, where a group of participants in our Youth Working for Success (YWFS) program started a community of their own, aimed at lifting each other up.

Myrick (pictured above, on far right) had been in and out of trouble when he was recruited for YWFS. Recognizing his potential, members of our staff advocated on his behalf in court, assuring the judge that our program will help him find a better path. A soft-spoken Myrick shares that WHA did succeed in helping him change the direction in which he was going. “[YWFS] kept me out of trouble. It was a home away from home.”

After spending the summer in our youth employment program, Myrick was offered a job at The Cheesecake Factory in Schaumburg. He then began recruiting other participants from YWFS to work there as well. About a dozen of the program’s alumni work full-time at the restaurant now, and they all saved money to split the cost of buying a van to take them to and from work.

Myrick admits that the values and priorities he learned while at WHA helped him succeed at his job. And he welcomes the stability that comes with a regular paycheck. Myrick is currently hoping to find part-time work in addition to the 40 hours he spends in Schaumburg each week. Jacob (pictured below), another YWFS alumnus and Cheesecake Factory employee, says he plans on getting his CDL license to earn more money as a truck driver.

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Their hard work and positive outlook serve as an example for current participants in WHA’s Youth Working For Success program, who are just beginning their summer employment. We’re sure they’ll have even more inspiring stories to share.