Last year, 360 Youth Services Transitional Housing client Javonte received the surprise of his life: a car. The much needed gift was the result of a collaboration between 360, Naperville CARES, the Auto Truck Group, and the DuPage County Make Your Way in Manufacturing program. The car represented much more than a reliable source of transportation. It represented the many people who care about Javonte.
Life has not been easy for Javonte. Growing up, he and his family moved from shelter to shelter and then finally, from public housing to a house in the Western suburbs. Just when he thought things were getting easier, the house went up in flames, and so did the family’s newfound stability. The family scattered and friends turned their backs on him. That’s when Javonte came to 360. He soon realized that he was surrounded by people who really did care for him and believed in him, too. He says the program’s job searching lessons were the most helpful to him and resulted in the internship at Auto Truck Group. He did such a great job, he was offered a full time position there. Now Javonte is looking forward to pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Recently he helped some of the other guys in the 360 program build an obstacle course for kids. It’s only fitting since he has overcome so many himself. He says, “360 helped me return my optimism, my joy, my million dollar smile, but most important, my faith.”
And that’s where Javonte is now.