Janel’s Story: A Two-Generation Approach to Building an Equitable World

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At Emmaus House, we strive to help people overcome obstacles. To that end, we have the privilege of working with families like Janel’s. Like many of us, Janel wants nothing more than to create opportunities for her children, Maya and Malik.

Janel’s family learned about Emmaus House’s CDF Freedom Schools program in 2016 when Maya spent her summer reading with us. The following summer, Malik joined his older sister. Janel immediately noticed changes in her children. Maya became more confident and excited about reading, and Malik began excelling in school.

Inspired by the growth in her children, Janel began attending Parent Café, a new program that aims to help parents learn about child development and practice stress management techniques. Janel says Emmaus House programs like this make a difference. It’s easier to help Malik with his behavior, and she’s more comfortable helping with homework. Attending Parent Café also ignited a passion for leading in Janel. Thanks to a grant from the United Way called Fostering Family Leaders, she’s learning new leadership skills that work at home and help support other Peoplestown parents.

In the fall of 2017, Janel became Emmaus House’s first parent instructor at Parent Café. Other parents who attend say that Janel gets them and where they are coming from. She offers understanding when it comes to the challenges of tackling homework, managing their children’s behaviors, or balancing their personal educational goals. Her rapport with fellow parents gives them a level of comfort that allows them to be vulnerable and, in turn, they can offer one another deeper support.

At Emmaus House, we’ve seen the transformational benefits that can occur when we work with the entire family — providing support and learning opportunities for children and parents. We are encouraged by research that shows this type of two-generation approach can help to break the cycle of poverty in families and our community.

When you give to Emmaus House, you bless our neighbors like Janel with tools to strengthen their families and our community. Your support enables us to work alongside our neighbors every day, and provide interventions to serve them on their path to a better life. Thank you for remembering Emmaus House this holiday season. We wish you and yours the very best.

KATHERINE BRANCH