Odaly’s Story


Odaly, a mom of two in Belmont Cragin, struggled to find a school that could provide Juan, her son, who is a diverse learner, the resources and opportunities he needed to thrive. Odaly was excited when Christopher House announced they were opening a school in Belmont Cragin and signed up before it was even built.

Once Juan started, she immediately noticed an improvement not only in Juan’s schooling, but his social skills, too. “I saw a big difference in how he was treated academically, and emotionally,” recalls Odaly. “I realized he didn’t know what he needed to know — he didn’t know English, but he learned quickly once he started at Christopher House.”

When “YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher™” was offered to parents at our Stewart Campus, Odaly jumped at the chance to become even more engaged. “I’m interested in joining any workshop to make me a better mom, and learning better ways to educate my kids,” replied Odaly when asked why she signed up.

“It helps me set expectations: on me, my kids, and my husband,” Odaly said of the YOU curriculum’s impact on her life. “I learned I have to be consistent with consequences, and teach my kids that they need to learn about what they did — not just react.”

“I used to yell a lot. I learned I don’t need to yell for them to understand. Juan learned, too.” Odaly remembers, “he’d say, ‘you don’t need to yell, you only need to say it one time mom.’ We both learned to be better and work together.”

Odaly still uses the curriculum weekly as a resource in her parenting, in addition to the other resources Christopher House offers. Odaly knows she isn’t alone and has a network to help her and her family reach their goals. “Any problem here, I feel helped and safe.”