July 15, 2019

Feature Image of Villa of Hope Focused on Making Triumph Possible

Our guest blogger, Jean Grover, is the Manager of Marketing and Community Relations at Villa of Hope, one of ROC the Taste’s beneficiaries. Come meet folks from Villa of Hope at Parcel 5 Saturday, July 27th, and help us support this organization that is so dedicated to Rochester’s youth. ROC the Taste is happening July 26th – July 27th 11am to 11pm.

Making Triumph Possible

SO GREAT is the Villa’s gratitude to our friends at The Summit Federal Credit Union, for including us in this year’s ROC the Taste, that we want to give something back to them and the readers of this forum!

We read a great quote the other day by John E. Southard:

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”

So here goes!

The gift we’d like to share is the joy that can be found at Villa of Hope, affectionately called “the Villa.” The Villa offers a range of services to youth, families and adults; from residential placement services, to community services, delivered to individuals in their own homes; from education in our community and residential school, to chemical dependency and mental health treatment.

We saw joy firsthand just a few weeks ago, when, on a beautiful June day, eight young people from our day school proudly claimed their spots as members of the Class of 2019. For our kids, especially, this Villa graduation was truly a triumph.

Success after success, our youth came to the podium to receive recognition for their journeys. One graduate in particular, Mackenzie B., was presented with the SEPTA Scholarship for Citizenship, Scholastic Achievement, Personal Growth and Community Involvement. Many may recognize her as “the face of the Villa,” the young woman whose image has been on the cover of the Villa’s general services brochure since 2018. She has, among many other achievements, participated in several Villa marketing photo sessions, with the generous intent of having her photo assist in the Villa’s outreach to the community.

Mackenzie’s journey has been difficult, and with great emotion, her social worker, Kerri Wemett would present her with two more awards during the ceremony.

As Kerri recounted, “I am so very, very proud of this young lady, who was going through such a difficult time only one year ago.”

Mackenzie went on to receive the NY State Comptroller’s Student Achievement Award for academic excellence, and the Avalon Achievement Award for her extraordinary ascent. By the end of the ceremony, she had more awards, along with her diploma, than she could hold, and had to ask her friend, Seven, to help her display them!

There was no mistaking her joy that day. The Villa is the place you can get a little help, a little extra time, the support needed, and it’s the place where no one will judge you on your journey. Success and joy are sometimes met for the first time.

Mackenzie, along with seven other classmates, walked away with high school diplomas that day, but more importantly, memories of hurdles conquered, sadness and hopelessness left behind, and life embraced anew. Congratulations, Class of 2019!

And thank all of you at The Summit FCU for continuing to make triumph possible!