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Lives are being imPACTed.

Wesley-Rankin Community Center

“The Center has exceptional people on staff. We couldn’t do our mission without the services provided by The Center,” said Natalie Breen, Director of Children’s Education at Wesley-Rankin. “They understand the context of what we’re dealing with here. We have parents who are working all day and night, victims of eviction, illness, incarceration, and loving, hard-working families who need extra support. We work to empower families and help them take back control. The Center augments that so well and has helped our kids with conflict resolution and responsibility. They have taught us ways to individualize learning and address the whole child in an individual way.

“Schools don’t have time to address mental health issues and we’re lucky to address it here. If a child is not able to self-regulate, academics can only go so far. In the past, we saw kids getting in trouble at school, always getting in trouble here, and then going home frustrated and upset. Now, students are able to go home and spend family time and have a positive evening, because they don’t have to deal with issues related to school and homework.

“The Center’s counselor (Bess Reynolds, LPC) emphasizes family counseling, family groups, mother-daughter, and sibling experiences. We’re so grateful for her time spent with the Gomez sisters (name changed) grades 4, 5 and 7. The Center began working with these girls three years ago when we learned their mom was fighting Lupus. Initially, we were treating them similarly, but they were acting out so differently – one hid, one punched, one internalized. Bess was able to address them with different strategies.

“Sadly, their mom passed away and it was incredibly hard. Bess supported the Wesley-Rankin staff, the grandmother and the three daughters. I don’t know how any of us would have walked through that without The Center. Ironically, the Gomez family was the first family to receive counseling three years ago and it has come full circle. The girls and the grandmother are doing really well. They have a positive future because they were able to process well, grieve together and heal. We see how important this work is and how it all connects.”

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