A Visit with the President

On Wednesday, June 3, I was selected to attend a very special event. This event took place at John Carroll in University Heights, Ohio. President Bill Clinton was invited to be a guest speaker! I had the privilege to not only see him but to shake his hand and get a hug.

During the school year, a group of young people ages 17-24 were selected as members of the City Year volunteer group. They volunteered at many agencies. Several were assigned to the shelter where my family and I lived for a while.

One young lady from the group wrote a letter to the President inviting him to the City Year Convention at John Carroll University. My invitation to this event came from the Project ACT Coordinator, Dr. Marcia Zashin.

Before the speech we had a beautiful reception. It was fabulous! I ate shrimp with lemon chicken, mushroom pie and much more. At the reception, it actually looked like a fancy restaurant! I had some cake and fruit pie for dessert. This was the most enjoyable time that I had in years!

-A Cleveland Homeless Student

The student’s name cannot be revealed for security reasons.

The Cleveland Public Schools’ Project ACT in the office of Adult and Continuing Education provides direct instructional and support services to children and youth residing in temporary emergency shelters. A Comprehensive holistic approach is used to deliver the services necessary to facilitate the homeless child’s transition into school and to ensure the child’s success and ongoing participation in the educational system. Support services include all that is necessary to accomplish this goal of meeting physical, social, and emotional needs and empowering parents to support their children in this endeavor. All appropriate resources from the Cleveland Public Schools are employed to achieve this goal.

Project ACT employs an active AmeriCorps* VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program to facilitate shelter programming and promote community awareness. The Project ACT VISTAs work closely with area AmeriCorps members, including City Year participants, to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Project ACT’s VISTA member, Project Coordinator, Title I representatives, and 2 homeless Project ACT students attended the CYZYGY rally on June 3, 1998. Project ACT staff would like to thank City Year Cleveland for their generous invitation to participate in President Clinton’s visit and John Carroll University for being a gracious host.

Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published July 1998 Cleveland Ohio