At the close of his high-school career, Jeramie McGill was at a crossroads in his life. Like many graduating students, he couldn’t decide what he wanted to do with his future. “When I graduated, I had no direction,” Jeramie, an Austin resident, said.
With the encouragement of a youth mentor at St. Joseph Services, a United Way of Metro Chicago community partner, Jeramie, a former participant, began volunteering with its after-school program for local youth.
“Bradly didn’t want me to end up taking the wrong path, so he encouraged me to stay involved with the organization,” Jeramie said of his mentor Bradly Johnson.
Little did he know, this advice would be the catalyst for his lifetime commitment to helping local youth reach their fullest potential. In Austin, mentors like Bradly and Jeramie are creating a culture of mentorship that helps students address academic and behavioral challenges, as well as find a system of support in a critical time of life.
Finding his place
Transitioning from mentee to mentor, Jeramie quickly found himself thriving as a role model to kids participating in SJS’s after-school programming and open gym program. Early in his service, Jeramie’s drive earned him a title and paycheck when St. Joseph Services offered him a part-time position as program coordinator.
Now, at 28 years-old, Jeramie boasts the title of Youth Development and Outreach Manager for St. Joseph Services. “I was ecstatic when I was offered the job,” Jeramie said. “I’ve been with the organization ever since then and have never stopped loving it and giving it my all.”