For two weeks in February, Parent Nights were held at Metro. The parents of all Metro students came to learn and grow in order to best lead their families. The topic at hand was both a tough but important one: “Can We Talk? Communication in the Digital Age.”
The January 1998 edition of Philanthropy, Culture, & Society was dedicated entirely to the Midtown Achievement Program (MAP). Now, nearly 20 years later, the same group interviewed Glenn Wilke in a follow-up comprehensive look at MEF's standard setting approach to helping at-risk youth.
MEF parents gathered to hear presenters discuss topics centered on the conference theme, "Love: the Mission of the Family." They left embracing the message of the day: loving your children and creating a loving home environment will lead to a happy state.
"I was interested in working this summer mainly to give back to a community I support. Metro has a warm and welcoming atmosphere as soon as you walk in the door. The women on staff work very hard to demonstrate individual attention, a care for parent education and respect towards each girl and her intellectual, personal and spiritual development."
This year’s theme was “The Hidden Power of Womanhood” featuring Cecile Raffin.
CHICAGO -- Early this November, 150 dads and father figures gathered with daughters enrolled at Metro Achievement Center, located in Greektown near West Loop for Father-Daughter Day.
In a world where parents work very hard to support their families, we want to acknowledge their importance through the theme, "There is More to Fathers Than Meet the Eye - Reclaiming the Value of Fatherhood."
While a delicious, hot meal simmered alongside beautiful tables dressed with flowers, dads and daughters alike experienced an enriching afternoon of love and affirmation. Father of seven children, guest speaker Michael Gaggioli addressed the dads, that there is more to being a father than just the financial provider of the family. In the meantime, his own daughter Liz encouraged the girls to use The Five Love Languages to show their dads how to appreciate them. A panel of Metro alumnae shared the importance of forgiveness in the relationship with dads, and how like any other relationship, it takes work on both ends to succeed. The event culminated with a moving moment, where dads and daughters exchanged handwritten letters expressing what they admire most about one another.
"Thank you for letting me spend time with my daughter. My wife took over my job for the day so I can go to Father-Daughter Day at Metro," -Metro dad.
About Metro Achievement Center: Metro Achievement Center for girls and its brother site Midtown Center for boys are unique places for after-school and summertime enrichment. They help at-risk Chicago youth gain exposure to a world of opportunity beyond the classroom, from one-on-one academic tutoring and mentoring, to character development and college readiness.
The 13th Annual MEF Parent Conference addressed the following topics to help support parents in their roles as primary educators of their children.
Parenting in the 21st Century: The Most Valuable & Needed Profession of our Times
Keynote: Gladys Davis, mother of six children and Director of Embers Elementary
Gladys Davis is a mother of six and the director of Embers Elementary, a private, independent grade school, feeder to The Willows Academy and Northridge Prep. Mrs. Davis attended Loyola University of Chicago, including their Rome campus. She did postgrad work in linguistics at the University of Chicago. This year, Mrs. Davis and her family will celebrate over 50 years of having left their native Cuba.
Helping your Children
Discover Their Talents & Build Self-Worth
by Maria Rodriguez, author and Village President of Long Grove
Maria Rodriguez is currently serving a second term as Village President of Long Grove and ran as a Congressional candidate in the 2010 primary. Maria is presently writing a book, entitled "The Motherhood First Project," on the impact and influence of motherhood throughout history and why that influence is so important today. She has a degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband, Ray, have lived in Long Grove for over 25 years where they have raised three children.
Helping your Children Balance
Freedom with Responsibility
by Brian Enright, business consultant and father of nine children
Brian Enright is a recent advocate and supporter of Midtown and Metro Achievement Center. While he works as a consultant in Chicago, his greatest achievement is raising 9 children, 2 boys and 7 girls, with his wife Meg Enright. As a parent in the 21st century, Brian is aware of what families face in issues of balancing freedom and responsibility.
Building Healthy Relationships:
How Unhealthy Behaviors Affect the Teen Brain
by Emily Warpinski, B.A. Psychology
Emily Warpinski is a Chicagoland native. She served four years in the Air Force, including two combat tours in Iraq, and has her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Emily frequently speaks on the topics of Love, Chastity, and Women's Health to youth, college students and parents all around the Chicago area. When she isn't volunteering at Metro, you will usually find her playing volleyball on the beach.
About the Parent Program
The principal goal of the Parent Program is to help parents at Midtown and Metro to understand that they are the most important educators of their children! Our programs help children to excel as students and as individuals, and our programs empower them to become better parents.
Parents of children in our programs hear guest speakers and have roundtable discussions on family life, scholarship opportunities, how to apply for high school and college, and how to be better parents together. Parents also meet one-on-one with their child's personal advisor and learn what their children are learning from their character education classes in order to help inspire total family development. Families are also invited to special events, such as annual Family Picnics, Mother-Daughter/Son and Father-Daughter/Son Days.
Parent volunteers foster a spirit of unity and mutual support among participants. A parent library is also provided for additional resources.
For more information, contact Parent Program Directors Petra Jaime at Metro for girls or Arturo Baranda at Midtown for boys.
"I wanted my daughter to have somewhere to go that was her own, where she would have older sisters who love and care for her. She's found that at Metro." -Metro Parent
On February 9th, over 160 mothers and daughters gathered at Metro Achievement Center to celebrate the 13th Annual Mother-Daughter Day.
"Metro does something many organizations do not do. They really focus on parental involvement and the girls have someone to really depend on every week. The mentor and the tutor...It is a great concept overall. The mixture of strengthening academic skills with life skills will prove to be invaluable." - Metro Volunteer
Mother-Daughter Day at Metro Achievement Center
Mother-Daughter Day encapsulates the formative lessons and values that we try to impart to the girls all year. To begin with, it provides a simple, quality afternoon for the families to spend time together.
After a reflection on the beauty of the love between a mother and daughter by the center chaplain, the mothers and daughters break out into separate sessions so that guest speakers can focus their message for each group. The mothers heard from MEF Board Member and Metro parent, Lupe Garcia, about "The Three Secrets for Building Happiness Within Your Daughter." Metro moms can all agree that they want their daughters to be happy, but they have many ideas of how to reach that goal. Lupe's talk focused on a holistic view of each girl, rooted in building character, honest work, virtues and family. A message we can all strive to learn from!
While the moms gain valuable wisdom in parenting, the girls participated in an activity with Metro volunteers centered on "How to Appreciate Your Mother." Volunteers led the girls in a discussion and a craft that the girls presented to their moms at the luncheon. The daughters served their mothers a healthy, elegant lunch that they all enjoy together, fostering a spirit of service and thanksgiving.
Over lunch they shared what they have learned and reflected on throughout the day, and you hear many of them making plans, resolutions and affirming each other. Many a Metro mom has commented that their communication and relationship is stronger after a special afternoon together at Mother-Daughter Day.
At Metro, parents are the primary educators of their children. We are humbled and touched to provide such a loving and warm afternoon for so many Metro families and thrilled to continue helping Chicago's young women and their parents experience transformational success.
"Metro has really helped my daughter stay busy and receive extra help she needed outside of school; sometimes for us who didn't finish school it's hard trying to get our daughter the help she needs." - Parent