Faces of Family Matters

Meet the families who are part of Family Matters!

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Vivian, Anna & Avah

Family Connections Program

“Family Matters, for my family, is a place for social connection, a place where each of us – Anna, Avah and myself – can feel truly accepted regardless of our race or ability. Family Matters was there for my family during a critical time when my child was in need of educational support. Not only were they able to assist her academically, but since attending the program her confidence level has skyrocketed and she has flourished emotionally and socially. There is not a day that goes by that I have not recommended the program to someone I know. The wonderful staff and the dedicated families have truly become like family. It is our home away from home.”

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Theresa, Mason & Madison

Family Connections Program

“I have been a member of Family Matters for 20 years. I started out in the Teen Girls Program​ and became a member of the​ ​L​eadership ​C​orp​s​ and ​the Board of Directors. Family Matters has played a very important role in my life ​through​ the philosophies and leadership skills I have learned​ there​. It has groomed me to be the woman and mother I am today. When picking a neighborhood to move back to after having children, I decided to come back to Rogers Park for one reason only: to get my children into Family Matters. I knew this was the only program I wanted them to be a part of because it would help me ​guide them and ​continue to teach them what I already had instilled in them—choices and consequences and learning to think positively. Family Matters is my second family and I am so grateful for everyone​ there​.”

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Silvina & Ofelia and Family

Teen Girls, Teen Boys & Family Connections Programs

“Family Matters is a place where we have fun doing our homework; where we are learning how to be strong and positive; where we discovered a world full of possibilities; and where our kids are safe, happy and better people. Family Matters is a place where, as a family, we learned to take care of each other, our community, and our world.”

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Eric & Symira

Family Connections Program

“I am so happy to have this program. There is no other program like yours. You guys are like parents, sisters — you care about the kids that way — like family would. I thank God every day for this program. You all don’t know what you mean to the community. The trust is there. I’ve been on the north side for 30 years, and there is no place like Family Matters.”

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Anna & John

Teen Boys Program

“Family Matters offers my son and me a community where we can both offer help and get help. I wanted John to be part of something where he felt like he belonged, not just where he attended or showed up — a place that really fostered relationships, connections and values about accountability and leadership in a very intentional way. The Teen Boys program is exactly that. Homework time was a source of tension and frustration for us. At Community Tutoring, John’s tutor is really able to encourage and push him to pay attention to the smallest details that make big differences in the quality of his work. I [recently] started tutoring a 3rd grader named Lar May and that’s been really rewarding – he set goals of getting A’s and B’s on his tests and that goal helped him get on the honor roll this past fall.”

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Symphony

Teen Girls Program

“The thing that I like about the Teen Girls Program is that it gets us active and helps us become cooperative with other people. Ashaki (the Teen Girls Director) is a person we can trust. This is our second home, and we love all the people here just like a family. Devon and Ashaki have taught me that I can be the person that I am—that I don’t have to change for other people. I kind of grew up in this environment (of Family Matters). The Teen Girls are like a family. We can trust each other with our secrets. We have a deep connection with each other—if one person cries, we all cry; if one person is in trouble, we’re all in trouble and we help each other. We started calling each other sisters.”

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Savion

Teen Boys Program

“I love coming to Family Matters. I feel safe here. I learn about ways to solve conflicts and I have fun. I wish I could come to Family Matters every day, even on the weekends. I learn something new here every day.”