A few of our GEMS young ladies had the opportunity to kayak across the Sea of Cortez in Baja, California through Chicago Adventure Therapy. Due to COVID-19, the trip was cancelled. God’s timing is best, and we are hoping in the near future they will be able to have this opportunity again! In the meantime if you want some uplifting content (and candid moments!) in the midst of all the uncertainty, read below as you get to know a few of our girls and their personal journeys over the years. We are so proud of each of them and love them deeply!

Stephanie (top right) is our first GEMS youth ambassador who started out as a participant of the program and is now on staff here at New Life Centers. Stephanie is a beautiful example of the mentoring work done here – as she passionately helps to lead part of the GEMS initiative on Monday nights. Stephanie is one of many young women from the community of Little Village that feels empowered to lead and be a positive example to those around her.

Diana (top left) has been volunteering in all aspects of the GEMS program for a few years now and is a constant presence at all of our summer events. During the summer, you will find Diana running the tables where individuals sign-up and data is collected for our summer softball season. She is currently a student at a local community college and hopes to one day work as a Social Worker in the Little Village community. We are so proud of her!

Bianca (top left) came to the GEMS program as a shy quiet 5th grader. Eight years later, she is now a freshman at a local community college and currently holds 2 jobs. Bianca has faithfully attended the GEMS program and is proud of how far she has come. She is always open and willing to share her knowledge with the younger participants. This year Bianca has taken on more of a leadership role and loves helping the young ladies at the GEMS program achieve their goals.


Our hope for the young ladies in GEMS is that they would feel empowered, known and loved by us as we continue to support and walk with them through every season of their life. Please continue to keep us and these young women in your prayers!