SYCAMORE – The truancy youth outreach coordinator at Kishwaukee Education Consortium starts making a difference without uttering a word.
A blackboard in the office of Noe Escamilla reads, in all-caps, “YOU’RE THE REASON WE COME.” Beyond that, his energy and compassion have earned him the 2018 Russell Josh Making a Difference Award, which was given out for a fifth year.
According to a news release from the office of Maureen Josh, DeKalb County circuit clerk, the award is given to the person who best treats youth with respect and compassion, who best goes above and beyond to help those children achieve a better life.
In addition to helping high school students learn skills and trades, KEC also houses an alternative school for students who are removed from their local school district.
The release said Escamilla helps students find work and helps train them in skills they need to be employable.
“By doing so, he shows the youth he works with that they are unique, worthy, and able to change their lives,” Maureen Josh said in the release, which goes on to say Escamilla puts in countless hours after school and over weekends.
“His work truly does not stop at home,” Josh said. “Noe is like ‘life traffic control.’ He exemplifies the criteria of this award and is truly making a difference in the lives of court-involved youth.”