Former Chaddock student excelling in life

Jeanne Jimenez says being a former student of Chaddock has its benefits.

She is one of many teenagers who called Chaddock home at one point in her life.

"I was in the system north in Chicago and there were no foster homes open at the time, I was actually placed in a state mental hospital for six months to a year for a placement to open and this is what opened up down here," Jimenez said.

Jimenez says it took a while for her to get used to Chaddock.

"I was rebellious, I was angry, I didn't really trust anyone, I wasn't very happy," Jimenez said.

Despite her uneasiness about her new surroundings, her teachers said there was something about her.

"Very intelligent, just looked like a Barbie doll, extremely angry and just I think really we called her our rebel," Cheryl Stebor, Health and Fitness Education Instructor at Chaddock, said.

Jimenez says this may sound clich but, teachers like Cheryl Stebor and Jim Leison made the difference for her.

"I don't know that change, they broke through that exterior and it became home," Jimenez said.

"She has a lot of potential, it's much easier to work with someone who has potential and that's willing to engage in the program." Jim Leisen, Vocational Instructor and Work Study Coordinator at Chaddock, said.

Jimenez also says Chaddock helped her form a foundation that she could build her life on and she is grateful.

"They made me enjoy school, they made me appreciate my education," Jimenez said.

Jimenez is studying to become a psychiatric nurse and hopes others will learn from her.

"I want to be a role model to the children that are still at Chaddock, the girls that are there today, I would like them to know this is possible and they can do, too." Jimenez explained.

Jimenez has a lot going for her and is happy her Chaddock family is there to experience the success with her.

Jimenez will be inducted in the national honors society Phi Theta Kappa Thursday at John Wood Community College.