Facet Chairwoman: Gina Banks Eanes
West Towns (IL) Chapter, chartered in June 1976 held their first Services to Youth Facet activity in May 1977. The Chapter Co-sponsored a “Career Conference for High School Students”. Since then the Chapter has sponsored a variety of transformational and life changing programs and activities for the youth in the surrounding Western Suburbs of Chicago.To name a few:
- Held a “Teen Appreciation Day Award Ceremony” recognition luncheon for 100 high school students. Certificates were awarded to students in the areas of: Academics, Community Service, Fine Arts, and Sports. Monetary awards were given to four top Seniors. The event was held at Second Baptist Church in Wheaton.
- Participated in the Juvenile Justice Advocacy Network
- Held a Book Fair featuring a presentation of the “Wheaton Underground Railroad” written by Glennette Tilley Turner, an African American Wheaton resident.
- Provided financial support for the 3R’s Program at Main Baptist Church in Aurora
In 1995 the Chapter launched its first major STY program: Adopt-A-School Program. Washington Elementary School in Maywood was the place and Principal was Link Shirley G. Johnson, now a Link Alumnae.The Program provided the following school/student assistance until 2013:
- Established the JoAhn Brown-Nash Library with bookshelves, reading bench and dictionaries
- Book donations to kindergarten and first grade classes
- Sponsored a quarterly ice cream social for honor roll students
- Sponsored field trips to museum and theater
- Provided hats, scarves, and mittens for students
- Sponsored health fair for school and community
- Participated in science and career day fairs
- Volunteered as educational assistants in academic settings
- Contributed $1,000 annually to the Principal’s Discretionary Fund
- Established a Reading Club
In 2014 the Chapter launched an umbrella program at Lincoln Elementary School in Bellwood. The program “Committing to Academic Excellence” at its core is to close the academic gap such that students will be on par in reading and math by the time they reach 3rd grade. Although National Trends & Services is the lead Facet for this program, STY is responsible for coordinating all volunteers for the many activities held at the school.
“Committing to Academic Excellence” is truly “An integrated approach to preparing youth for the global workforce as healthy citizens” which is the overall national facet goal for Services to Youth.