Wellington was born and raised in Lawrence. From an early age, he was surrounded by factors that influenced his way of thinking and behavior. Motivated by the bad influences around him, his goal was to make a name and a reputation for himself. By 16 , he had dropped out of school and was arrested for the first time. By 18 he was a father, and by 20 he was serving 2 years. Growing up, Wellington had a passion for breaking things and reworking them. He would watch in awe when he passed by work sites. At SISU he rediscovered his passion for construction. As a member of the SISU Construction Team, he worked on the YouthBuild house and spends his days working on countless projects in the shop. Wellington knows where he wants to be and is taking the steps to get there; whether it is completing his HiSET, finishing his probation or obtaining his driver’s license. Although it doesn't seem like a big deal to many, he knows that with the passion and drive for his craft, a driver’s license will open up so many doors for him. Wellington hopes to one day build his own home knowing that he earned that house. For more of Wellington’s story, visit our website. Kassandra grew up in Lawrence with 8 siblings. Her parents, although not together, emphasized the importance of family above all else. “Kass” has never been keen on rules, but “family first” is the one rule that she has always been able to follow without any hesitation. In 2016, Kass lost a brother to the streets and her future lost importance. She began acting out at school and skipping and failing classes. After being referred to the SISU SWAG program, she began to get her life back on track. She engaged with staff, mapped her future in her Individual Service Plan and was on track to achieve her goals. Then in January of 2020, tragedy struck again when she lost her sister to a drunk driver. Again, her path forward lost importance, and she quit everything that she was working towards. This Spring, Kass’ life took another major turn when she learned she was pregnant. She realized that she had to get her life together, graduated from high school, received her driver’s license and got a full-time job. With the help of the SISU Center, she managed to get her first apartment and enroll in an EMT course. Early next year, Kass will be welcoming a baby boy and is dedicated to providing a better life for her child. For more of Kass’ story, visit our website. LAWRENCE PROSPERA FY’2019–2020 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 7

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