Growing up, Deonte was told he had leadership potential but he just didn’t see it.

Fortunately, he does now and that leadership ability is playing a key role in his position in the 360 Youth Services’ Graduate Leadership Program where he is serving as a mentor to those in the Transitional Housing Program. He is the perfect one to do so since he was a resident there for two years himself. He welcomed the structure and empowering help the program offered. Some of the most valuable results of the program are the friendships he made with others who were facing many of the same difficulties.

They’re like “older or younger brothers to me,” he says. And just like a family, he has learned to work through the little problems they inevitably face.

“We have each others’ backs,” he added.

While in the Transitional Housing Program, he found two jobs in food service, one a facility focused on assisted living and memory care. Deonte is deservedly proud of the fact that he saved enough money to be able to purchase a car. Besides providing transportation to work, it also brings him to College of DuPage where he is a student. While he is yet to determine a major, he knows he wants to be able to help others so he is exploring careers that will make that dream a reality. He’s got a fantastic start on that goal by serving as a mentor in the Graduate Leadership Program.

And that’s where Deonte is now.

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