Stories & Testimonials

Meet Skyler – “The Heart of the Story”

Skyler has a rare disorder that can be life threatening when she is frightened or startled and her heart can go into a-fib. Even electrical currents or other environmental conditions can trigger her condition. Obviously, this has limited her ability to participate in activities other children can enjoy. With her condition, the only way she can participate safely is to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) with a trained technician or nurse present with her in case her heart condition is triggered.

Skyler loves the theater and always has wanted to participate in the theater camp offered by the park district in Cutting Hall. Due to the sound, electronics and noise this would not be possible without the AED and nurse. This accommodation became cost prohibitive and the Park Foundation stepped in to help by providing the funds to hire a trained nurse to be on site while Skyler participated in the camp.

Skyler’s mother was thrilled that the Foundation stepped up to allow her daughter to participate in the theater camp. She said after the camp, “She does love acting, theater. I’m really glad she got involved with the programs there. She is having a hard time dealing with her condition and being able to do theater there really helps her.” Without the support of donators to the Foundation Scholarship Program, this opportunity would never have been possible for Skyler.

Meet Ivan G. – “Coming Full Circle”

Started in the I-Compete program at the age of 10 and joined the wrestling club that was offered through the program. This was the first exposure he ever had with this sport. Once in high school he made the wrestling team and had a very successful four years on the Palatine Wrestling team. Ivan has gone on to be a great citizen and now has come full circle in working for the I-Compete Program in the after school club and giving back opportunities for today’s participants that he enjoyed and benefitted from when he was young. Thanks Ivan for being a great example and ambassador to not only the I-Compete Program but also the Park District and how these programs can improve lives!

Meet Oscar M. – “Recreation Success – from Student to Teacher to Mentor”

Oscar joined the I-Compete program at age 11 and various other park district programs and activities and received scholarship assistance along the way. As part of his community service hours through his high school he came back to the I-Compete Program to mentor and tutor younger children. Oscar loved it so much he continued to mentor and tutor participants until his senior year in high school. In 2014, Oscar is preparing to attend the University of Illinois, Springfield on a full scholarship in teaching. In fact, because of his passion, involvement and efforts at the I-Compete Program, Oscar was awarded the “Golden Apple Scholarship” which is given to aspiring teachers. Way to make us proud Oscar! You are our success story on how to give back and we all wish you the best as you transition into college.