Personal Stories

  • Eddie Burks and PROSY

    For the past year, UCAN has participated in Positive Relationship Outreach Support for Youth (PROSY), the pilot for a multifaceted mental health program…

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  • Ann’s Story

    When Ann* first came to UCAN in 2011, her therapist April Kopp noticed that she rarely made eye contact or smiled. When asked about strengths, talents, and future aspirations…

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  • Malique’s Story

    “I hope that the kids catch on quicker than I did. It took me going to jail to really snap my head and make me realize what support I had in Project Visible Man, and that I needed…

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  • The ties that bind: Pertesha Armstrong finds her family

    Many obstacles have tried to keep Pertesha Armstrong from achieving her dreams, but through the ups and downs she has tried hard to maintain maturity and poise. Pertesha is set to graduate with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and emancipate from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in May 2014. With the… Read more »

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  • UCAN alumni tell their stories

        “I intend to retire from UCAN” – Prestina Singleton Former UCAN clients like Prestina don’t mince words regarding their feelings about the organization. With unprecedented numbers of clients returning after emancipation to volunteer, support and even find employment at UCAN, we asked some of our best and brightest why the UCAN family is… Read more »

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  • Bianca’s Journey

    Sometimes people can find that life is hard and reaching their goals is a challenge. 19-year-old Bianca, who is a client of UCAN’s Transitional Teen Services and set to graduate high school in June, is not one of those people. Despite her troublesome journey, Bianca has admirably displayed a strong sense of self and determination… Read more »

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  • Bre’anna’s Story

    Bre’anna’s Story Bre’anna, 17, knows what it feels like to be afraid. Born in a small town in Illinois, she, her mother and her brother moved often throughout the state. When she was a freshman, the family moved to Chicago. Bre’anna enrolled at Collins Academy High School in North Lawndale, where she was introduced to… Read more »

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  • Johnny Banks

    Johnny Banks We’ve all heard that your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before death. 20 year old Johnny Banks has lived it. In October 2012 Johnny was shot. A single bullet passed through his wrist and into his chest resulting in a collapsed lung. He was in the hospital for nine days…. Read more »

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  • Elisabet Ortiz

      June 6, 2013 was a life changing evening for Elisabet Ortiz. Not only was she recognized for her academic and personal achievements at UCAN’s 14th Annual Youth Leadership Awards Dinner, but she also met UCAN President’s Board member Bob Loveman. Bob and his wife Gail live in Boulder, Colorado, which is the home of… Read more »

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  • Colleen Collins UCAN Academy School Educator

    Colleen Collins UCAN Academy School Educator “The kids keep you here,” replies a determined Colleen Collins when asked why she chooses to teach at UCAN Academy. Colleen is an elementary school educator who started working at the school four years ago. “Students at UCAN Academy come from low economic backgrounds, have disabilities and often have… Read more »

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