Over There: New agency aids veterans
Jean Edwards email@example.com March 6, 2013 2:56PM
Jennifer Young (left), COO and Veteran Program supervisor, and Paris Wilhite (right), CEO and founder, are seen in Bounce Back Social Services Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 1256 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:03AM
Bounce Back Social Services, 1256 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, a not-for-profit organization, opened its doors for business Feb. 23 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The purpose of the charitable organization is to provide assistance to military veterans, military dependents (women, men and children) and any people suffering from life’s circumstances and needing assistance.
Its sole mission is to provide direct support for military veterans, their families, women, infants and children of the general public with services that will help them to restore and recover from life issues and circumstances.
“The vision began one Sunday, while I was sitting at church as Marvin E. Wiley, pastor of Rock of Ages Baptist Church ministries, was preaching on Bounce Back with Power that God began to minister to me. He revealed that not only would I bounce back from what I was going through, but I was going to be able to open an agency to help others to bounce back as well, said Paris Wilhite, founder and CEO of Bounce Back.
“God has bought me back to the original place where I worked before, it was called the Learning and Skill Center for at-risk youth from ages 16 to 21, which closed due to lack of funds,” Wilhite said.
This is where Bounce Back is located.
Jennifer Young, Wilhite’s sister, was asked to help.
Young is the chief operating officer and has served in the U.S. Army.
Prior to Young relocating from Denver, she owned her own agency as a veteran representative for the state of Colorado. Young is also a registered psychotherapist.
While in Colorado, she received several awards, including an Appreciation for Outstanding Services to families and seniors in need; Family and Senior Homeless Initiative recognizing her as a champion mentor; partnerships with the Denver Rescue Mission Mayor’s Program; and Veterans Representative of the Year, a national award given by the American Legion in Colorado.
“I have a passion for helping people to overcome all barriers of life and to make a transition to develop themselves to bounce back. So when my sister Paris contacted me and asked me to help, I did it. It was a leap of faith,” Young said.
Young moved away from Joliet 33 years ago and had no idea that she would return.
“We welcome all veterans and their families. We have filed for a grant and are planning fundraisers to help raise funds to provide more services for our veterans. We don’t just want to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day, but would like to recognize and help them every day,” Wilhite said.
Bounce Back offers programs to help veterans to obtain their DD-214, training and help with obtaining information on benefits they might qualify for as well as family support groups for families who have a loved one deployed.
If you have a military event or veteran you would like Jean Edwards to write about, she can be reached at 312-321-2356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.