One Teen's Tribute to Marillac Social Center

What's My Neighborhood Like?



By Janique Ames, Age 16

My neighborhood is not so bad. Yes bad things happen but you get out what you put in and that’s something I truly believe in. Kids in the neighborhood do things that they see their peers do, like their mom or dad and the parents can’t correct their kids because that’s what they saw growing up, but that’s a reason for someone to try and do the right thing. People know right from wrong and you can always improve the only thing is are you willing to improve for the future of your children and grandchildren. 

Enough with the bad things but the good things we have are so many people in our neighborhood that are willing to help you with things you need. That’s very good because everybody is not able to provide for their family, that’s when Marillac comes in - but the thing I don’t understand is why? Why does Marillac do what they do (which is help so many people)? I never understood. But I thank everybody at Marillac for everything they have done for me. 

I want to tell you a little about me. My name is Janique Ames. I am sixteen years old and I have been living in this neighborhood all my life. Like a lot of people, I always try to ignore the things around me. I think everybody escapes from reality. But why escape and try to ignore everything around you when you can improve? Improving things is always the best way. Ignoring it is never going to work. It’s like covering up a very bad sore with a Band-Aid without any treatment. It’s not going to help the sore, the sore will still be there and it’s just going to hurt until you go crazy from the pain but that’s only if you try to ignore it for so long. You have to treat it just like the bad problems in the neighborhood. When you do something you will get a result but do nothing it will just stay the same, nothing will change, but we want change. Change is good for everybody. Staying the same is boring.

Now let’s talk about the good things that Marillac does. They have programs that help keep kids get off the streets, keep them learning, and engaged in school. Did you know that black Africa American kids have the highest dropout rate? Most of the kids that come to Marillac are Africa American and Marillac is helping them and their families, mothers and fathers by keeping their kids off the street. Because the streets in Chicago are not a playground for kids, it’s very dangerous out there and it’s not a ps3 or an Xbox 360. This is real life you can’t get your life back like on a video game. You can’t start over but Marillac is there to help, to give but even to receive. Marillac has impacted my life so much. Marillac is one of the multiple reasons I want to go to college and major in nursing because I want to give back to my community, care of kids, and deliver new born babies.

If you are a part of Marillac you know about all the good things you get to do with Marillac and all the good opportunities you have with them. Marillac is the best thing that ever happened to the neighborhood and will go on for many more years and our kids and grandkids will be able to experience what we did when we were kids and I think that’s very good. Marillac is getting deeper in to the community and all the work being done will trickle down for generations to come. When I’m dead and gone Marillac will still be here with all The Members And Moments we had.

marillac st. vincent family services is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization, FEIN 36-2109717 privacy policy © 2015 made with ❤ in chicago we’re hiring! get our email newsletter!
  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
  • St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614