Covenant House Top Ten Stories of 2018!
Covenant House Top Ten Stories of 2018!
Each year, the Covenant House International blog team has the privilege of writing about Covenant House youth, programs, and events across our movement. The stories we posted in 2018 include tough stories of survival, inspiring stories of determination, and stick-to-it stories of advocacy and activism, to name a few. In all cases, the stories of our young people overcoming homelessness are as diverse as their journeys, and beyond powerful.
As our blog team—Tom, Marissa, and Linda—turns the chapter on 2018, we’d like to share with you the stories that moved each one of us the most, and why. If there’s a story you read in our newsroom over the past year that moved you, let us know!
Here’s our list for 2018.
From Homelessness to Sky-High Dreams
Bruce's story reveals a few of the many different ways young people can become homeless, and highlights the courage and resiliency it takes for a young person like Bruce to keep fighting and keep moving forward. It also shows that when the community (in this case, the amazing people at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City) rally around our young people, great things happen.
Locking Up Foster Children Is Not the Answer
I like this story because in it, Covenant House President Kevin Ryan cites recent studies by the Casey Foundation and Chapin Hall of the University of Chicago to offer a common sense fix to one of the issues that hold back young people in the current child welfare system. This blog also shows that collaboration between social service providers is a powerful agent for change.
Leaving Homelessness Behind
I found the description of young people being helped by our outreach team in Hollywood, California, to be powerful and moving. The fact that there were four young people living as a family as they dealt with homelessness, only to tragically lose one of their family members from the flu, shows in a stark way the reality of life on the streets. But the story also provides hope in the form of our outreach workers who will never give up on any youth.
Casa Alianza Mexico Girls Win Soccer Match in Russia
I'm a big advocate for girls playing sports as an outlet and this post tells our audience how well rounded our services are, and the lengths we will go to make sure our young people feel accomplished. It's an uplifting story with great imagery and great quotes!
New York State Sex Trafficking Loophole Closed
I really like this one because it demonstrates how much our Trafficking Task Force advocates for our young people and allows the reader to walk away knowing we're capable of changing laws.
An Emotional Graduation for Covenant House Youth
The combination of the image with the text is what really gets me with this one. This post really goes into detail about the extra mile our staff travels to make sure our young people succeed. I also think it sheds light on just how hard we try to provide a sense of normalcy for our young people, even though they’re living in a crisis shelter.
Fighter Since the Day She was Born
This story really moved me because it shows how even when you have everything going for you—a loving parent, good home, career ambitions—your world can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye by homelessness. If you're a fighter, like Queen, you can still find your way forward, with the help of caring staff at Covenant House.
College Bound at Covenant House Georgia
This story was so eye-opening for me. Covenant House Georgia has developed a phenomenal program to encourage young people in our care to realize their dreams of going to college—or to consider it for the first time if they'd thought it out of their reach. I was so struck by program director Regina Jennings' challenge: "Why shouldn't our youth go to college or university?" The fact is, the earnings gap between those who have a college degree and those who don't is wider than ever in U.S. history, so attending college is increasingly important as youth overcoming homelessness navigate a future with sustainable independence.
Girls Learn Tech
This is one of several stories we covered this year that demonstrate Covenant House's innovative approach to helping youth prepare for the 21st century workplace. It also shows how learning can be fun and affirming, even as youth assimilate practical knowledge and skills that will help them with the serious work of making their future. This story is set at our Casa Alianza Honduras site, in Tegucigalpa.
I’ve got to include the Reading Room in our Top Stories list, even though it’s a recurring feature. The Reading Room was a great addition to our newsroom in 2018. This compilation of stories from around the web on issues that impact youth facing homelessness is a great source of background and news for anyone who really wants to understand what our young people are up against. It will carry over into the New Year; look for it each Friday.