I spent most of my childhood bouncing between my parents from Chicago, IL. to Los Angeles, CA. and back again. My life was very unstable, and hectic. Both of my parents tried to do their best, but both were emotionally unstable, and I was forced into a parental role early in my youth. When Boys Hope found me I was living with my grandmother, and I was attending a notoriously bad Chicago Public High School. In order to avoid being pulled into a gang or hate group, I focused on my school work. I was often too scared to even eat in the rowdy cafeteria, so I spent all of my time in study groups with teachers on their lunch break, or studying in the library.
One day I was called to the deans office. While there I was introduced to two representatives from Boys Hope. They invited me to come and stay after I passed a trial run. I was elated! I remembering shadowing one of the other scholars at Loyola Academy and asking, “Are there gangs here?” He laughingly told me no. Needless to say I was accepted into the program. I was far from the ideal scholar, but I did everything that I could to remain in good standing, and to embody the lessons that the Jesuits taught me about being a leader through service and a person for others. Where my parents and upbringing was unable to instill in me purpose, Boys Hope filled that void.
In college I flailed to find my calling, but eventually I remembered what I was taught, and went into an field where I could help others. I spent ten years as a Recreational Director, in which I helped the elderly find purpose, and to continue on into the winter of their lives with joy and love. I went to graduate school at Xavier University for my MBA, and spent a year as an Administrator-in-training with my company Senior Lifestyle Corporation, which is based out of Chicago.
Now, I am a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and I am in charge of running The Courtyard at Seasons, which is leading nursing home community in Cincinnati, OH. I am married. I met my wife in undergrad at DePaul. She has two masters degrees. One of which was from Pepperdine University, which she looked at after we discovered that they studied the success rate of Boys Hope scholars. She just recently wrapped up her PA degree and accepted a job with UC Health. Now that we have our dream careers, we are working on building our family. I can say without a doubt that if Boys Hope did not show up in my life when they did, I would be in a very different place right now! I would have ended up having to join in a gang or hate group for protection while at CPS. That would have followed me into my early adult life. I would not have attended college. I would have never met my wife, been able to find my calling, go on to grad-school, etc., etc. Every night I thank God for the blessings he has bestowed upon my life – the biggest being made into a Boys Hope Scholar.
Boys Hope Girls Hope is incredibly honored to share Christopher’s story! 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!