On a beautiful, sunny Saturday, Cunningham's Special Therapies staff could be heard encouraging Dominic as he ran across an open field. He was participating in the Illinois Inter-Agency Athletic Association (IIAA) Central Region track meet along with eight other Cunningham youth.
Dominic is new to Cunningham Children's Home and is struggling as he transitions to his new environment. He's uncertain about many things: learning a new routine, getting to know new kids, and building relationships with staff. But he's certain about this - his speed. He is lightening fast on the track! Dominic finished the 100 meter dash with a blue ribbon for 1st place.
Dominic took home three blue ribbons in all, but the most important may actually be the 5th place he took home by running the 400 meter relay - a race he ran as part of a team. These victories are his first steps toward finding hope at Cunningham.
The staff knows that giving Dominic confidence, encouragement, and the feeling of mastery in one area can translate to other successes including the development of positive relationships with his peers and direct care staff. It won't be long before Dominic feels safe and supported.
In all, nine of our youth participated in Saturday's track meet and received ribbons in various track and field events from the 100 meter dash to the hurdles to the long jump. We are so proud of their team effort and positive sportsmanship.