Teen Leader a Role Model for Children

February 24, 2016

David Chiles – Executive Director of Providence Center

In the Philadelphia neighborhood where we work, 43% of adults over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma, and less than 5% have a college degree. In this environment, it is critical for children to have role models — people the children can follow on their education journeys. Elivette, one of Providence Center’s Teen Leaders, is an example of this kind of role model. But Elivette didn’t always see herself in this way.

Providence Center“I never thought that anybody would ever see me as a role model, but being here has shown me that that’s wrong. Anybody can be a role model, even the quietest person. Before, I used to be very afraid to talk to any kind of new person, but then being in the program showed me that if I want to help people, I have to get out of my comfort zone.”

At Providence Center, Elivette has changed. And with her new found confidence, she is helping to change the lives of the children who look up to her. “I want to show them that they can go far in life. I want them to know that no matter what anybody says, you make you. You are capable of doing great things. And I want all of them to know that they’re capable of doing anything they want in the future.”

Can you imagine the impact of that nurturing and encouraging presence in a child’s life, particularly from someone who has grown up facing similar challenges? Elivette’s story encourages and motivates us.  We know that our mission at Providence Center changes the lives of those who work with us or are entrusted to our care.

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