Romell Downer tells his story during the Great Wall ceremony, which celebrates Cara Program graduates’ first year of full-time employment. The job training and placement organization helps Chicagoans affected by unemployment, homelessness and poverty. After moving back home to Chicago, Downer said he struggled to find work. With the help of Cara, he found a job within two months. “It’s so funny how everything comes full circle. I was at a point where I needed a resource to help me find employment,” he said. “Now I work for a pharmacy staffing firm, so I get to put other people to work.”
Rites of Passage define our lives. They signify the progress of time as well as our citizenship in a tribe, in a culture — in life itself.
Chicago commemorates these moments in ways that reflect its diversity, but through difference, we find commonality. We are all connected through these formal and informal ceremonies that remind us how much family, love and time shape us.