Jan’s Story

Posted on Posted in Share Your Story, St. Louis

In 1994, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Fr. Paul Sheridan, who was serving as the President at St. Louis University High School, and learn more about his wonderful visions, including Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis. During that time, I was a stay-at-home mom and “professional volunteer,” while my three boys attended SLUH.

I began my involvement with BHGH of St. Louis as a volunteer, which included going on fun outings and mentoring the Girls Hope scholars. With three boys and a husband at home, I needed someone to get my nails done with, someone to make gingerbread houses with at Christmas, and someone to take boat rides in Forest Park!  Meeting Brijhette, a Girls Hope scholar, was a special perk I did not expect.

Mentoring Brijhette grew into love for Brijhette.  She “joined” our family after her high school graduation from Nerinx Hall because she had no family to stay with during the summer, and became a “Wacker girl!”

That summer brought many interesting firsts for me, our family, and Brijhette.  From helping Brijhette get her license, (oh, I was too old for teaching someone to drive!) celebrating her first job, and teaching her my ” fashionista way!”   All are great memories that I never will forget!

Brijhette continued to live with our family through college, visiting our home for the holidays and even learning how to read and win at scratch-off lottery tickets — a Wacker Family tradition!  One of my fondest memories was attending Brijihette’s Master’s graduation from State University of New York.

I continued to volunteer with BHGH, helping in various capacities, including co-chairing the Evening of Hope Gala. Eventually, I became the Development Director… A path I never saw coming!  I do believe Fr. Sheridan had a hand in it when he first talked about this program at a SLUH Mothers Club event, and peeked my curiosity, as other women in the room who signed up to help at BHGH.

I believe in BHGH.  I have seen the successes it brings, and of course, there have been times that have caused me to shed many tears.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis has given me the opportunity to fulfill a dream –a dream I did not even know existed until I visited the home for the first time and met Brijhette and other amazing Girls Hope scholars.

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Whether you are a scholar, collegian, alumnus, alumna, volunteer, team member, board member, contributor, partner or advocate, we invite you to share your story as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration. Click here to learn more!

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