Program Spotlight: Pathfinders

One Hope United is dedicated to providing children and families with the resources and services that they need to thrive. Another such program is Pathfinders, which helps children who are having struggles in school and exhibiting behaviors such as aggressive outbursts, difficulty moving from one activity to another, or general fearfulness.

Recent research suggests that children who experience trauma in their early lives are more likely to exhibit negative social emotional behaviors in school settings. This was the case at our Elgin Child and Family Resource Center, where teachers were having difficulty handling the challenging behaviors displayed by several of the students in their classrooms. Since One Hope United already offers comprehensive services for individuals and families in need of intensive treatment and counseling through our Community-Based Family Services, we could address this problem using expertise that already existed within the organization.

Pathfinders, which is currently available at three of our early learning centers, is led by a licensed clinical social worker. This social worker spends time in the classrooms doing observations, providing coaching support to teachers, and most importantly working one on one with the students. Services are even offered in the home or other community locations to make them more accessible for the family. Having a social worker in the classroom has made a tremendous difference. Our teachers feel better knowing there is an expert in this area to help them provide exactly what their students need to succeed.

“There was a family at our center dealing with the stress of preparing for a move and eventually enrolling their son, who struggled with self-regulation, difficulties with transitions, and outbursts into a new school. With the help of our teachers, social worker and the Pathfindersprogram, this difficult transition went as smoothly as possible. On their last day, the mother shared with me that she couldn’t be more thankful for everything our center had done to help them”, shared Sara Gray, Director at Elgin Child and Family Resource Center.

Your support is what makes it possible for One Hope United to offer important programs just like Pathfinders.

Sprouted Child Care & Early Education Now Open!

This month, our Wilmette child center officially reopened as Sprouted Child Care & Early Education, by One Hope United!

Sprouted celebrated its grand opening Tuesday, July 27th. Parents, children, staff, and new and old neighbors and friends were invited to tour the new center at 3201 Old Glenview Road, as well as participate in a variety of fun, interactive activities. The special event featured healthy refreshments, a flower planting activity and an official ribbon cutting ceremony. There was even a fire truck and police cruiser on site for kids to explore!

 

While the name and address are new, Sprouted has planted deep roots in the Wilmette community for more than 30 years and has served the education and child care needs of thousands of North Shore families.

This new center has been redesigned from the ground up with little learners in mind, and its modern, nature-themed décor and unique design elements make every day a discovery waiting to happen.

“Thank you for seeing the value in our program,” said Sprouted director Kristin Pettice as she prepared to cut the ribbon with her students. “We are just ecstatic to start this new chapter as Sprouted.” Kristin and the students were joined by OHU Chief Operation Officer, Margret Vimont, and Julie Yusim, Executive Director of the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce in Wilmette.

Great fun was had by all and everyone was very excited to offically welcome Sprouted to the neighborhood!

Couldn’t attend the event? Call Sprouted at 847.256.6600 to schedule a tour!

From Left: Margaret Vimont, COO, and Sonja Crum Knight, Executive Director, Early Learning & Child Development, at One Hope United; Kristin Pettice, Director of Sprouted; and Julie Yusim, Executive Director, Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce.
Members of the Sprouted teaching staff.
Sprouted students got to explore a real fire truck.
Future firefighter in training.
It almost fits!

Supporters ‘Rise Up for Children’ at Hope In Action Fundraiser

One of the most iconic figures of the 1960s civil rights movement—a little girl named Ruby Bridges, who came to represent the courage and dreams of an entire generation striving for racial equality—rose up for hope once again at One Hope United’s annual gala, Hope In Action: Rise Up for Children, on Saturday, May 4, at the Hilton Chicago.

In conversation with Chicago Tonight‘s Brandis Friedman, Bridges recalled integrating New Orleans’s public schools at just six years old, and the courage it took her family to take that stand.

Ruby Bridges (right) in conversation with Brandis Friedman

“I remember people shouting and throwing things; I knew that if I got past the crowd and got into the school, everything was going to be OK,” Bridges said. But her mother would “pray every day until 3 o’clock” when Bridges made it safely home from school. Still, the family persevered, and Bridges’ mother taught her, “If you really wanted to see change, you had to step up to the plate and do it yourself.”

Guests and sponsors of Hope In Action stepped up and raised over $261,000, a 6% net increase over the previous year. We’re very appreciative of the immense support that has been shown for our organization, which brings us one step closer to fulfilling our vision, “For every child and family, life without limits.”

Two of the biggest highlights of the night were the presentations of the 4th Annual Ermit Finch Impact Award to Jeremy Harvey and the Leadership in Giving award to the Grand Victoria Foundation! Check out Jeremy’s inspiring story captured in the video below.

Jeremy Harvey received the Ermit Finch Impact Award

The evening concluded with an energetic and heartfelt performance by Miguel Cervantes, who plays Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. Cervantes spoke movingly about having the ability to meet the needs of his daughter Adelaide, who was diagnosed at a young age with epilepsy, and thanked the audience for rising up to support the children served by One Hope United.

Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton – Chicago) performed.

Visit us on Facebook to view all of the fun photos from the night. Be sure to tag yourself and your friends!

Bridges with Adiat Baker (left) and Iya Bakare.

A big thank you to all who came out to “Rise Up for Children” and help make the evening such a success. Didn’t have the chance to raise your paddle at Hope In Action 2018? You can still support OHU by clicking here.

 

Sonja Crum Knight Named Executive Director for Early Childhood Programs

Sonja Crum Knight

Sonja Crum Knight, an early childhood leader committed to realizing high quality outcomes for children and families through education, practice, and advocacy, will join One Hope United as Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Development, beginning April 10, 2018.

In this executive leadership role, Knight will oversee One Hope United’s 12 child care and early education centers, which provide high quality early care and education to over 2,200 children each year, as well as our home visiting programs, which help young and first-time parents navigate their new responsibilities and support their children’s development. All of these programs serve children and families living in northern Illinois and Chicago.

“I am humbled and honored to join an organization with such a rich legacy of service to children and families,” said Knight.

Knight comes to One Hope United from YMCA of the USA, where she served as technical advisor for early childhood equity improvement, leading a cohort of eight YMCA associations across the country to discover and improve strategies for improving access to high quality early care and education. She also has worked extensively with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University as a quality assessor and trainer. She holds a PhD in education from Capella University and a master of education in early childhood administration from National Louis University.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sonja Crum Knight to One Hope United,” said COO Margaret Vimont. “She brings a wealth of experience as a child care provider, quality assessor, and educator to early childhood professionals, along with a passion for equal access to early education and a highly inclusive management style. Together, these make her an excellent fit to lead our early learning and child development programs, which lay the foundation for our vision – For every child and family, life without limits.”

Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks Donates Toys to One Hope United Youth

One Hope United is honored to announce that youth served in Chicago and throughout Illinois will benefit from the generosity of Chance the Rapper’s youth empowerment charity, SocialWorks, and WGN TV Morning News viewers.

One Hope United was hand-picked by SocialWorks to receive a gigantic shipment of toys to its Lake Villa offices following the December 8, 2017 WGN Drive-Thru Toy Drive. The donations collected during the WGN TV Morning News will spread holiday joy to children in One Hope United’s residential homes, early learning centers, foster care, counseling and family services programs in the Chicago metropolitan area and downstate Illinois.

“We’re blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to One Hope United,” said Justin Cunningham, Executive Director of SocialWorks. “Creating loving environments where youth can reach their full potential is at the heart of SocialWorks and I hope these toys bring smiles and hope to every child and family served,” he added.

“One Hope United would like to thank SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper, and WGN TV for their generosity and hard work to enhance the lives and communities we serve,” said Scott Humphrey, President and CEO, One Hope United. “You’re showing the children and families in our programs that with dedication, friendship, and love, one can make a difference in people’s lives. We are grateful to SocialWorks help in spreading joy to thousands throughout Illinois,” he added.

Senior Supervisor Corey Dickson works directly with some of the youth who will receive toys from the donation. “This is going to help so much,” he said. “They’re going to appreciate it a whole lot – especially coming from Chance the Rapper.”

About SocialWorks
SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago. Using this framework for our interactive spaces and experiences, SocialWorks hopes to nurture local talent and open new doors much like what their founder, Chance the Rapper, has done in the music industry. Our initiatives, OpenMike, Warmest Winter, Parade to the Polls, and our New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, were created to advocate for youth and the fulfillment of individual achievement and success in all its forms. We’re excited to continue to bring impact to the nation and we hope that you tag along for the ride. socialworkschi.org

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The non-profit began over 120 years ago with the same vision it holds today: for every child and family, life without limits. One Hope United’s team of  800 talented professionals serves thousands of children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida. onehopeunited.wpengine.com

Introducing Our Updated Values

One Hope United has been helping children and families reach their full potential for over 120 years. While our dedication to this goal has never wavered, the way we express it has evolved along with our methods for reaching it.

Last year, we updated our mission and vision:

MISSION
One Hope United increases opportunities for children and families by providing quality solutions that enhance lives, communities and futures.

VISION
For every child and family, life without limits.

Building on the mission and vision, this year we took on updating our values. We wanted these to be more than just words on a page – they needed to reflect who we are today and help guide our decisions, big and small, about how we do our work.

For that, the values had to feel authentic, honor our history, and guide us toward realizing our ambitious vision. To that end, we sought broad input from our staff and board, and shared these for feedback both virtually and through in-person discussions at 10 different locations.

We’re enthusiastic about the positive response we’ve had and excited to now share our updated values with the world!

VALUES

  • Do the Right Thing. We serve the best interests of our clients and staff. We act mindfully and responsibly, honoring our commitments. We’re willing to challenge the status quo.
  • Fully Contribute. We bring our presence, passion, and ideas to every interaction, and we respect differing views and backgrounds so that others can do the same.
  • Empower One Another. We collaborate with, care for, and encourage each other toward greater impact, treating everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Turn Hope into Action. We believe in the resiliency of the human spirit. We advocate for those in need and do what it takes to build a better future for all.
  • Seek Impact Every Day. We make things happen, and make them count. We leverage all our resources and make data-informed decisions for maximum, sustainable results.
  • Always Keep Improving. We pursue excellence in an atmosphere of innovation. We embrace change, take prudent risks, learn from failure, and recognize success.

OHU’s President and CEO featured in Crain’s Chicago Business!

One Hope United’s President & CEO, Scott Humphrey, is featured in this Crain’s Chicago Business story on business professionals who made mid-career shifts to nonprofit work. Learn how Scott made the transition to OHU after retiring from BMO Capital Markets and the positive impact that had on his home and family life.

Click through to read the full article.

OHU Awarded For Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan

Every year, the DCFS Statewide Foster Care Advisory Council rates agencies’ plans to serve foster parents and presents awards to those who score the highest in one of three categories.

OHU’s Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan received the highest marks in all three categories! Accepting the award were OHU’s Margaret Vimont and Devin Dittrich, along with one of our amazing foster parents. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on developing this award-winning plan!

#GoBlue4OHU | National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Doing Good that Tastes Good.
Dine out at Chicago restaurants in April to support One Hope United’s programs to prevent child abuse.

Throughout April, local Chicago restaurants are offering specialty menu items for diners to sip, feast on, or imbibe. Go Blue restaurants will donate a portion of the proceeds from select menu items to benefit One Hope United’s programs to prevent child abuse. One Hope United is one of Chicago’s oldest private human service organizations, working to ensure every child can look forward to a Life Without Limits.

Visit GoBlule4OHU.org to learn how to get involved!

 

One Hope United Welcomes Margaret Vimont as COO

Please join us in welcoming OHU’s new COO, Margaret Vimont!

Margaret Vimont, an accomplished leader in child and family services who began her career in residential care, will join One Hope United (OHU) as Chief Operating Officer beginning May 8, 2017.

In this key role, Ms. Vimont will report to President and CEO Scott Humphrey and help One Hope United advance its ambitious plan for growth and operational excellence. As COO, Ms. Vimont will provide leadership for the implementation, process improvement, and efficiency of OHU’s lines of service, which include early learning and child development centers, home visiting programs, community based family services, foster care, adoption, and residential programs.

“I’m thrilled to have Margaret join One Hope United,” said Mr. Humphrey. “A passionate social worker and proven leader, she will be a valuable partner to me in delivering more impact to our communities through the services we provide, helping us realize our vision: For every child and family, life without limits.”

Ms. Vimont comes directly from Jewish Child and Family Services, where she has been COO/Executive VP since 2005 and oversaw a number of initiatives to help the agency evolve strategically and align its services with its mission and financial goals. She joined JCFS in 1990 as a residential clinician.

“I’m exhilarated to be part of One Hope United’s plans to make a significant impact on children and families in the Midwest and Florida,” said Ms. Vimont. “Having seen JCFS through their recent evolution, OHU is the natural place to take my experience next. The resilience and hope that youth bring, no matter the challenge they’re facing, has always been an inspiration to me and is at the heart and center of my professional passion.”

Ms. Vimont served on the board of directors for the Association of Children’s Residential Centers for many years and as their Board President from 2009 to 2011. She also has represented JCFS and the private sector on Illinois’ Child Welfare Advisory Committee and on subcommittees for over 10 years. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in humanities from the University of Chicago.