Recently, two men shared very personal stories of how Hillside helped them overcome profound challenges to fulfill their potential.

As a youth in the 1960s, Richard Jackson lived for several years on our Monroe Campus in Rochester. His memoir Ward of the Court describes how that experience led to a remarkable life as a human services leader and the mayor of Ottawa, Kansas. Now 79 and retired, Richard returned to Hillside and shared his story over pizza with youth, in a virtual meeting with our staff, and in an interview with WXXI radio. He praised our services as being critical in shaping lives of strength, purpose and achievement.

He also met with donors at a special event, joined by an alumnus of our Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program who shared his own deeply moving story. While in high school, Casanova Burgos endured the deaths of his cousin and his father; at the event, he talked about how he was given strength to cope with those traumas thanks to sustained support from his HWSC Youth Advocates. Casanova, now 33, is a Navy Reserves veteran, a father, and an aspiring firefighter; like Richard, he says Hillside empowered him to realize his goals.

Richard and Casanova are potent reminders of the vital nature of our work—and of the many other vulnerable youth and adults who still need support. Hillside’s services make a powerful impact on countless lives every day, and your support makes our work possible.

There are so many ways you can make a difference as a Hillside partner. I hope you’ll consider supporting our mission with a donation, becoming a foster parent, or joining our team as a Hillside employee. Together, we can help more individuals like Casanova and Richard discover their paths to the stronger futures they deserve.

Thank you!

Maria Cristalli
President & Chief Executive Officer

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