2012 Imagine Award Honoree Joyce Sandridge
Two years ago, Joyce lost her daughter to breast cancer. The pain and grief were intense not only for Joyce, but also for her daughter’s 2-year old son, Jahcear. After her daughter’s death, and the realization that she would need to raise her grandson on her own, Joyce said to herself, “I’m starting all over, and I’m going to need some help.” She called CHiP, knowing that they could offer the support that she needed. The CHiP Family Support Worker worked with Joyce to help her learn the importance of play in Jahcear’s development.
CHiP was not new to Joyce, as she had accessed services when her now adult son was a child. CHiP workers currently helping the family comment on her resilience and ability to persevere. “Joyce is an amazing advocate for her grandson. She makes sure he has all the services he needs, most recently seeking out counseling for the family through Region 10. Jahcear is clearly Joyce’s top priority.”
As Joyce moves forward, she is determined to make sure that her grandson has a supportive, loving family life. He currently attends MACAA Head Start, and will begin kindergarten in the city school system next year. She knows that the loss of his mother was very difficult, and will encourage individual counseling for him when the time is right. CHiP support workers say she is untiring in her resolve to “provide Jahcear with the things he needs to continue being a healthy, happy, thriving, kindergarten-ready boy.”
Joyce is a true believer in CHIP services and has even gone to Richmond to serve as an advocate for the program. She is brave, authentic, unflinchingly honest and eager to share her story. She speaks openly about her life experiences, and knows how important it is to support one another. She is a friend to others who are finding their way.
Joyce’s ability to overcome and keep faith in the midst of struggle is impressive. As one CHIP support staff member stated with respect and admiration, “Joyce is a true inspiration.” She is a symbol of hope for us all.