One of nine siblings, R. came to after school club groups and summer day camp as a ten year old. She remembers running straight to Midtown from school with all of her brothers and sisters and sorting out "whose day is it today?" at the gate to the playground. R. participated in every youth program until she was finally old enough to become a Junior Leader.
"Being a Junior Leader let me be seen in a different light. I could come to a place where I was respected and cared about, a place that taught me to care about others." "Re- Re" described Midtown as a positive place. Her mother felt safe sending the children. She knew people there cared about them. Staff always called or stopped by the house if anyone was absent or, as teenagers sometimes will, trying to skip out. She trusted her children would always be treated with respect, compassion, concern and love.
R.'s family moved away from the neighborhood when she was entering her junior year in high school. That's when she discovered, in her own words, "Midtown was a one of a kind place where there were one of a kind people." She missed the staff who believed in her, supported her, taught her and expected her to succeed. She missed it so much when she went to Washington University to work on her Master's Degree in Social Work she sought out Midtown as a place to develop her practice skills through a two semester internship!