Meet Our Clients

We are inspired everyday by the resiliency and strength of our clients! These amazing kids are overcoming challenges and trauma that most adults have never had to face and they are so grateful to have an advocate on their side. The following stories and testimonials provide a glimpse into how the Moran Center programs and services change trajectories of these young peoples’ lives.

 

 

 

 

CJ

CJ, a Moran Center client, describes how the Moran Center helped her granddaughter. CJ’s story demonstrates profoundly that the school-to-prison pipeline is not just a national phenomenon making national headlines, but a significant issue in our own community with very real, ramifications requiring a locally supported, community-based response.

 

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl

Mayor Tisdahl describes why she values the work of the Moran Center and how she has seen firsthand the difference that having an advocate can have in a child’s life.

 

The Moran Center fiercely protects the confidentiality of our young clients. The stories below are based on actual client experiences, however the names and images have been changed.
Joe  

Joe

When Joe was fifteen years old, he was charged with possession of a firearm. After meeting with the Moran Center legal and social work team, it became apparent that drug addiction was a key underlying factor leading to his criminal charge. With rigorous legal advocacy, Joe was sentenced to an in-patient drug treatment center, NOT incarceration. Recently Joe successfully completed his treatment and graduated from Evanston Township High School.

 

“The Moran Center staff has been of such great assistance in helping my nephew navigate the legal system in order to successfully complete his probation. The Social Work staff at the Moran Center has also been extremely helpful in guiding my nephew down the right path and helping him not only within their office but with referrals to other needed services as well. The Moran Center is always available to answer my questions and assist my family in any way that we may need. The services that are provided through this agency are so extremely important and are not easily accessible anywhere else in the Evanston community. My family is grateful to have access to the services at the Moran Center and will continue to utilize these services to assist our family.”

David  

David

We first began working with David when, at the age of 13, he was charged with criminal trespassing. At the outset of our work with David, he refused to come home at night. His father worked everyday, almost fifty miles away, and an elderly grandmother could not get David to comply with house rules. On the streets, David picked up a burglary charge to which he plead guilty. We advocated for David to be placed in a residential school where he could receive the services he needed to succeed. David recently made the honor roll at that school. He told his Moran Center social worker that he would not be doing so well without her help and her weekly visits. He felt that she believed in him, while most other adults involved were against him.

“Dear Kristen, I miss talking to you when I’m having problems or even having a good day. The reason I can open up to you is because I look up to you. You are a part of my life and you’re a big factor in it. Thanks for all you have done for my family and most importantly for me. I don’t know how I can ever repay. I’m so grateful and feel cared about. You helped me out so many times that I didn’t think that anyone could help me. Whenever I’m in trouble or feel like I can’t control myself, I think about what we talk about and it helps me to make the right decision. I know I still make some wrong decisions but I am trying and I would have made a lot more wrong decisions if you were not my social worker for such a long time. When this time is over, I’m gonna start over and I’m going to be successful and when I am, you are going to be a big person to thank for that, for real. Thank you Kristen…”

 

Anna  

Anna

Anna, a school special education client with mental health and substance abuse issues, was struggling in a traditional high school. We represented her in finding an appropriate alternative education placement. Through this alternative placement, Anna was able to make significant progress and successfully transition to post-secondary living.

 

“Because of [the Moran Center’s] support, my daughter was able to get the best possible help and able to continue her high school education. [My daughter’s] current success is nothing short of a miracle and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Alex  

Alex

As a high schooler, Alex was charged with two felonies. Although he was found not guilty, the charges were still on his permanent record. Just months away from graduating from college and with two job offers pending, Alex came to our expungement help desk for help clearing his record so he could become licensed as a Medical Technologist and accept employment. Our attorneys filed the appropriate paperwork and accompanied Alex before the judge to make a winning case for clearing Alex’s record, allowing him to receive his professional license and employment.

 

“Dear Mr. Verdun, Thank you so much for your assistance in my recent expungement issue. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders when I received the letter from the court this week. I wish there was more I could do to thank you. All I can say is that I understand I made an immature mistake several years ago, and I have been trying to make up for it ever since by being a contributing member of society, and I will continue to do so. Thank you for helping me to pursue my mission to be a better citizen and person.”