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Our CLIMB (Changing Lives, Improving Minds and Bodies) After-School Program serves over 250 at-risk inner-city youth, ages five to sixteen, at five sites, with an array of activities to support students’ academic, interpersonal, and social achievements. Students emerge from our CLIMB Program with better results in the classroom and on standardized testing but more importantly, they develop the confidence that they are able to achieve success in the secondary years and beyond. One such CLIMBer is Deve M. Deve joined CLIMB at our Inspired Vision Middle School site in Pleasant Grove during his 5th grade year, struggling with reading and math skills. He was failing the reading portion of the TAKS Test at 65%, and was shy and introverted. Without the skills to read, Deve’s homework was nearly impossible to complete, and his favorite subject, science, was suffering.
After enrolling in CLIMB, Deve began to blossom! Daily specialized tutoring in reading improved his grades across the board. By the end of the semester, his over-all grade point was 89%, and his reading TAKS score rose 28 points to 93%.
Deve is back in CLIMB this fall. He brings along a new recruit – younger sister Fenny, whom he enjoys “tutoring” himself. His favorite activities? Playing tag, talking to the other CLIMBers about his dream of one day becoming a pharmacist, and reading Fenny his favorite book – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Mr. Becerra’s family also benefited. The family was adopted through our Angel Tree program, and Mr. Becerra was overjoyed that he could provide gifts to his four daughters because of the Wilkinson Center. Mrs. Becerra attends ESL classes at Titche Elementary. She expressed she liked it and while it seems very difficult for her to learn, she feels it will get easier as she continues. She is very determined to learn so she can help her children in a more efficient manner.
Mr. Becerra has over 25 years experience in tile work, but has been unable to find work. He was struggling to pay his mortgage and provide basic necessities for his family. Wilkinson Center helped with the mortgage payments and Case Manager Miguel Brambila was able to help Mr. Becerra avoid foreclosure and get the mortgage payments reduced.
When Mr. Becerra was asked what the Wilkinson Center has done for his family, he simply said “A lot!”
In CareerWorks, she learned how to market herself with her resume, familiarized herself with the Dallas job market and brushed up on her interview skills. After graduation she landed a temporary assignment. It wasn’t quite what she was looking for, but it gave her an opportunity to return to the workforce. She continued to stay motivated and kept in touch with Wilkinson Center for encouragement. She worked two more temporary jobs until she landed a permanent position.
Wenona is now an administrative assistant in the Department of Outreach and Student Development at Eastfield College. Her goals don’t end there. She was recently accepted in the Potter’s House School of Ministry and will begin in the fall. She also wants to go to college to get a BA degree in Human Resources. Her dream job is to own her own employment agency. Oh, and she is engaged to be married! Her dreams really are coming true and she owes much of it to the Wilkinson Center.
Victor, his wife, Jeanne, and their children, Alexia, Victor, Jr., and Isaiah, came to the Wilkinson Center’s Food Pantry. Jeanne was chronically ill, in need of constant care and medication. Victor’s landscaping work did not bring in enough money to cover her medication, the family’s rent, utilities and food. After being evicted, relatives stepped in to help. Relatives took in Jeanne and the children, while Victor lived with a friend.
Returning to the Wilkinson Center, Victor, while hesitant, agreed to meet with Miguel Brambila, a Wilkinson Center case manager. These two soft-spoken young men, both dedicated to providing for their families, formed an instant connection.
Miguel listened to Victor’s story and together, they formulated a plan to utilize Victor’s landscaping talents with the goal of reuniting the family in transitional housing. During the next year, Victor got a job and worked extra hours saving money for an apartment and to buy his own landscaping equipment. The Wilkinson Center supplemented with hygiene kits and food.
That spring, Victor was able to move his family to their own apartment. He came to the Center and proudly handed out flyers announcing his new landscaping business: “Top Solution – There’s No Problem Too Big for Us.” His family is back together, and last month Victor enrolled in the Wilkinson Center’s GED course with the goal of obtaining his diploma and pursuing college.
What a difference a dream, hard work and motivation makes!
4144 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75204
Telephone: (214) 821-6380
Fax (all): (214) 827-1972
P. O. Box 720248
Dallas, Texas 75372
Food & Emergency Services:
3402 N. Buckner Blvd., Suite 302
Dallas, Texas 75228
Telephone: (214) 269-1418
Eastfield College, Pleasant Grove
802 S. Buckner Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75217
Telephone: (214) 269-1418