40 Stories
Explore powerful stories of redemption and learn how West40 is affecting lives in our communities.
40 Stories
Explore powerful stories of redemption and learn how West40 is affecting lives in our communities.
40 Stories
Explore powerful stories of redemption and learn how West40 is affecting lives in our communities.
ALL
PHOTO JOURNAL
WRITTEN
PODCAST
01.
Steven Hunter
Podcast
Steven Hunter from the Phoenix Suns shares his partnership with Woz Ed. For this discussion, Steven embraces his love for Proviso District and the lessons learned as an NBA player. Steven continues to give back to all students who are in need.
02.
Triumph Over Tragedy
Written
Max grew up in an environment of drug use and emotional abuse. But after working with West40’s Advocates, he turned his life around.
03.
DeAndre McLaurin
Podcast
Tim Stafford is joined by student advocate, DeAndre McClaurin, to discuss working with at-risk youth. DeAndre shares the strengths of being part of the West40 Family along with the positive impact Advocates have on our at-risk youth.
04.
The Future of Education
Photojournal
West40 welcomes local leaders and state legislators to learn about a radically different approach to teaching and supporting students.
05.
AARON EARNS HIS STRIPES
Written
After entering the West40 Seniors Plus program, Aaron transformed himself from a high school dropout into a confident and courageous young man.
06.
Karen Young
Podcast
Karen Young discusses the partnership between Woz Ed and West40. Karen joins the podcast to share her experience with Woz Ed and Steve Wozniak of Apple. Encouraging and quite inspiring!
07.
Becoming the Lifeline for Local Educators
Written
Without licensed educators, the business of a school would grind to a halt. The West40 team turns the licensure process into a surprisingly pleasant experience for local teachers and administrators.
08.
GIVING THE GIFT OF HOPE: WEST40 CHRISTMAS BINGO
Photojournal
West40’s beloved Christmas Bingo event gives kids the chance to feel the magic of the holiday season⁠—and to choose gifts for the special people in their lives.
09.
Dr. Jennifer Kelsall
Podcast
Superintendent for Ridgewood Community High School #234, Jennifer Kelsall, shares her expertise in Education. Dr. Kelsall casts a vision for what schools look like for 2020 and beyond.
10.
Dion Flowers
Podcast
West40 Regional Safe School alumni, Dion Flowers, revisits his time at the RSSP since graduating. Dion’s interview is uplifting, encouraging, and filled with tons of laughter!
11.
HELPING TEEN MOTHERS STAY IN SCHOOL
Written
Truancy doesn’t just happen—there’s always a story. West40’s team creates a support system for struggling students and teen mothers to get them back on the path to graduation.
12.
A West40 Thanksgiving
Photojournal
Students from one of West40’s ALOP programs plan a Thanksgiving celebration that brings families, teachers and administrators together for a memorable meal.
13.
JUAN’S JOURNEY TO REDEMPTION: PART 1
Written
Faced with a tough living situation, peer pressure and the lure of gangs, Juan turned to the West40 Safe School for a fresh start.
14.
JUAN’S JOURNEY TO REDEMPTION: PART 2
Written
After overcoming school suspension, expulsion and legal troubles, Juan graduated and became a West40 Advocate to help other young people like himself.
15.
A SAFETY NET FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Written
After an increase in disciplinary problems, Westchester School District 92.5 partnered with West40 to help change the culture in their middle school.
16.
THE CHANGING FACE OF COMPLIANCE
Photojournal
West40’s compliance team works with schools as partners—not enforcers—to create safe and healthy environments for students, faculty and staff.
17.
A FAMILY-FIRST APPROACH TO EDUCATION
Written
West40 pours love and support into students’ lives. And sometimes, those students come back to become West40 staff members themselves.
18.
SUPPLYING HOPE WITH BACKPACK GIVEBACK
Written
An average family can spend nearly $700 per child on back-to-school expenses. West40 has stepped up to help families get what they need for a successful school year.
19.
THE POWER OF ‘ONE PERSON AT A TIME’
Written
Giving kids personal attention can make a dramatic difference in their lives. Dr. Mark Klaisner and the West40 team take a one-on-one approach to create large-scale change.
20.
Connecting With Students During COVID-19
Photojournal
As the pandemic swept through the country, West 40’s ALOP advocates planned a socially-distanced party to stay connected with their students.
21.
TEAMING UP TO HELP TROUBLED TEENS
Written
The West40 ALOP team at Proviso East High School works together to give students the care, attention and acknowledgement they may have never had in their lives.
22.
FROM STRUGGLING STUDENT TO LOCAL LEADER
Written
With the help of West40, Maria became an honors student who’s working to unite local college students and professionals.
23.
FIGHTING FOR EQUITY IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS
Written
For the first time in decades, Illinois is evolving its school funding formula. Dr. Mike Popp and West40’s legislative “SWAT team” work with state legislators to provide more opportunities for Illinois students.
24.
The Next Generation Of Female Leaders
Photojournal
In partnership with local community groups and government leaders, West40 created the “Say Yes to Your Future” event to instill a sense of leadership in female students.
25.
MEASURING OUR IMPACT ON STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS
Written
From becoming kids’ trusted confidants to serving Thanksgiving dinner to their families, West40’s ALOP advocates have created a powerful program that serves over 1,300 students per year.
26.
Building a New Belief System
Written
How do you help students who struggle with peer pressure and unhealthy home environments? For West40 mentors Joshua, Charles and Cody, it’s about creating a support system that offers hope for the future.
27.
A Son Transformed by the Safe Schools
Written
Michael was an anxious, unhappy middle schooler who had lost interest in education. Then he got a second chance at the West40 Safe Schools.
28.
Fighting for the Future of Illinois
Written
By uniting educators from throughout the state—including many West40 staff members—ICEARY shares ideas and helps create programs that serve the most vulnerable students in Illinois.
29.
How Mentors Changed My Life
Written
Frank Giosa, principal of the West40 Safe Schools Middle School, explains how mentors helped guide him on an unlikely path into education.
30.
The Value of Never Giving Up
Written
How do you make the right choices when the people around you are dropping out of school or going to prison? For Dion Flowers, he relied on the lessons he learned at the West40 Safe Schools.
31.
Moving A District In A New Direction
Written
Working closely with West40’s Professional Learning Team, Cicero District 99 is rethinking how they can help educators and students succeed at a high level.
32.
Seeing ‘Kids Like Us’
Written
After experiencing a personal tragedy, Karen Tiemann bonded with kids who had lived through their own trauma and felt called to become the program director of the West40 Safe Schools.