JCFS Residential Supervisor (aka Chauffeur) Angel Williams beckons to Kayla to get her on her way to a magical evening at prom.
by Tom Giller, JCFS Anthologist and Board Member
It was Kayla’s dream to attend her senior prom. No one else in her family had ever done so. Kayla lives in one of the group homes that are part of the JCFS Residential Program. The Program offers a supportive, confidential and empowering environment for teens and young adults whose emotional and behavioral needs merit 24 hour attention, due to abuse, neglect or chronic family conflict. After her Mom died and Kayla herself became a mother, the Program offered Kayla the kind of structure and support she needed. She has thrived and started to recognize her potential.
Once the JCFS staff at Kayla’s group home learned of her prom wish, they helped her realize her dream. To attend the prom, she first had to meet the requirements to graduate from her high school. With a lot of hard work and support from her family and JCFS staff, Kayla met the requirements and became the first in her family to graduate from high school. As the prom approached, the group home staff helped Kayla find a beautiful black dress and matching shoes, and get a makeover and pedicure.
On the night of the prom, Angel Williams, the JCFS supervisor of Kayla’s group home, donned a chauffeur’s cap and drove Kayla to the prom. First, however, they stopped off so Kayla’s grandmother and godmother could see how beautiful she looked. “Needless to say,” according to Angel, “they were thrilled and Kayla was beaming with pride.”
Once they arrived at the prom, Angel walked her in and Kayla joined the festivities. At the end of the night, Angel, still wearing her chauffeur’s cap, picked Kayla up from the prom and drove her home. “The whole experience meant so much to her and added to her self-confidence,” commented Angel, “especially to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend the senior prom.” And Angel’s simple gesture and kindness made Kayla feel very special.
Kayla has big plans for the future, starting with attending Truman College beginning this fall, where she plans to study nursing. Just like her prom experience, we hope it will be a magical ride for her.
As for Angel, this act of kindness doesn’t surprise her colleagues. “Angel always goes the extra mile for every child,” says Charlotte Mallon, Director of Professional Training at JCFS. “She’s a shining star for sure…she really exemplifies the idea of doing whatever it takes to support a child’s success in life."
What's the most special thing you've done, or seen a colleague do, to help another?