It was with great pleasure and joy that we welcomed back nineteen alumnae youth, who had successfully transitioned into the community, to the Betty K. Marler alumna function. These ambitious young ladies arrived from all over the metro area to take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect with their peers and staff in a pro-social environment hosted by the same local restaurant for the past eight years.
Of particular interest was that two of the alumnae drove from the Chicago area to be present. You could hear the excitement in their voices when they called from the road to say they were safe and on schedule to arrive. alumnae students expressed genuine excitement as they recognized and greeted each other and staff by exchanging handshakes, hugs and heartfelt stories. During the evening, alumnae students shared about their success in multiple areas of their lives, including independent living, jobs, school, and family relationships. Many alumnae shared how their experiences in the program prepared them for real life success in the community. Many alumnae reflected upon their past challenges and how their time at BMYSC helped them to mature, grow, improve self-esteem, and overcome obstacles.
Alumnae expressed many heartfelt thanks for the support and guidance provided them while at the Betty K. Marler Center. As the evening came to a close, alumnae students gathered together for a group picture to mark the occasion. Plans to attend the next alumna dinner were already being made before students left for the evening.