Dear R3 Family,
I am thrilled to write to you and share the amazing ways God is at work through your partnership. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to join forces with various organizations, churches, businesses, and volunteers. As we witness so many people from all walks of life coming together to impact this city, we are thankful for your support, and we can continue to say, “WE’RE ALL IN” to what God is doing in East St. Louis.
At the end of last year, we hired three young men from East St. Louis who graduated from the SWIC Highway Construction Careers Training Program. These young men honed their skills while working with R3 student interns and skilled tradesmen on the R3 housing rehab projects in East St. Louis. In collaboration with our partner, the Lansdowne Community Initiative, R3 provided temporary jobs, helping them establish their careers in the trades. We’re pleased to announce that they have since entered the Iron Workers and Carpenters unions.
Last summer, three National Honor Society (NHS) students from Belleville West High School joined us, volunteering daily to work alongside our students. when we saw the need to start a tutoring program back in February, they raised their hands right away to volunteer with us in support of their peers. Their volunteer service continued this year during our Spring Break Internship, and they have been employed to work with us this summer!
Whether demonstrated through the leadership of construction students from SWIC, the service of NHS high school students, the work of organizations and volunteers we partner with, or the growth and development of our student interns, we can proudly say, “WE’RE ALL IN!” We’re giving everything we have to make a difference in our community!
We are on the third week of our Summer Work Academy! This year, we are offering our students employment for eight weeks, a construction shop class, tutoring in math and reading comprehension, construction rehab projects in East St. Louis, all the materials they need, weekly excursion field trips, and competitive hourly wages. This program has a track record of creating change in the lives of our students by providing them with a safe place to come during the summer, preparing them to enter the workforce, and facilitating their growth as young people.
By doing so, you are changing the narrative of a city, one life at a time.
Thank you for your prayers and support!