Carlos W.

Family Formation Alum

Twenty-three-year-old Carlos W., father of 2, arrived at FFSC desperate for a better life with a hope to become a more responsible parent and provider. “I was in the streets, spending most of my time in gang-related activity, working dead-end jobs,” Carlos admitted. “As the father of a one-year-old daughter, I wanted and needed something different for her future and for my family.” Encouraged by his mother, who heard about FFSC’s six-week Family Formation program, Carlos enrolled at the East St. Louis, IL location.

While enrolled, Carlos found the support he needed through mentorship from Class Facilitator Andrew Glass who inspired him, having graduated from the program over a decade ago. “I never had role models in my life,” Carlos said. “I was raised by a single mother, and my father wasn’t in my life. Mr. Glass had already graduated from the program and taught me how to be a man, listened to me and strengthened me by sharing his experience and wisdom.”

FFSC’s six-week Family Formation program taught Carlos critical listening and communications skills, which helped him improve the relationship with the mother of his children and stabilize the family. He also learned how to manage a budget and save more money for living expenses through FFSC’s on-site financial literacy classes.

Thanks to generous donations from friends and donors, Carlos received his first dress suit for job interviews through FFSC’s Suits For Success closet. It was the first suit he’d worn in his life. “That sparked a fire in me,” he explained. “I knew I was on the right path.”

Carlos graduated from the Family Formation in 2021 with over 2 dozen fathers who also wanted a fresh start. FFSC’s year-long follow-up services helped Carlos attain his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) to apply for new positions in growing industries.

Today, he is employed full-time with the Village of Swansea in Illinois! As of January 12th, 2024, Carlos and the mother of his children purchased their first home. FFSC’s Case Manager Oge Oge helped Carlos along the way. “My family is so excited! I finally bought my first house and that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for FFSC. Thank you for believing in me and teaching me how to succeed and stay out of the streets. You saved my life.”