The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Forensics classes create Hope Packages

Students raise $2,800 for children in foster care
Forensics students collaborate to pack Hope Packages on Feb. 21 (Huffman/LION).

Each year at the start of the second semester, forensics classes partake in a social justice experience in which students look at wrongfully convicted individuals and explore the science behind how they were freed, forensics teacher Serena Lerma said. 

Last year, after discovering that 70% of all prison inmates were once in foster care, they decided to bring positivity to the lives of children living in a residential facility in Evanston through an organization called Lydia Homes. The students created packages with snacks, games, and other items, and brought them on Feb. 21 to about 36 children ages 8 to 14. 

“We really wanted to bring some light and fun to kids in foster care,” Lerma said. “A lot of them don’t have the same privileges that most students at LT get to experience. When you live in residential, the items that are truly yours are very limited, so it’s really great for them to get things to call their own, and to realize that there are people who are thinking of them and caring for them, despite any hard times that they might be going through.” 

About 275 forensics students worked together to plan the items that would fill the packages, surpassing their goal of $1,500 and raising a total of $2,800, forensics teacher Angela Patel said. After putting the care packages together, the students hand delivered them to the children living in the foster care facility. They hosted a pizza party, and spent time socializing and playing games with the kids. 

“It was really heartwarming to see them sit down with the kids and have so many really positive interactions with them,” Patel said. “Our hope packages provide so much more than the items inside; they give children a way to communicate and interact with new people, and brighten their day overall.”

Though its purpose is to help the children receiving the packages, this effort is also beneficial for the LT students involved. 

“It was such an incredible experience for everybody who helped out,” forensics student Molly Kudlacz ‘25 said. “It felt great to give back.”

While the project has ended for the year, students, staff, and community members can get involved next February by donating to the forensics Hope Packages, and playing a role in bringing connection to local children living in foster care. 

“Anytime you are doing something good and helping others, it has a big impact on you,” Lerma said. “Hopefully this will make LT kids think about who else is out there, outside of the environment that they grew up in, and will inspire them to continue reaching out to those around them.”

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Mckinley Huffman
Mckinley Huffman, Managing Editor
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