Inspirational Stories

Jeraurd Crosby - Dream Again Award honoree

Jeraurd was serving an 11 1/2 - 23 months sentence at the Allegheny County Jail for a violation of probation.

The Real Meaning of Thumbs Up

Randy Verbanic and Harry Spilker never had the opportunity to meet. In fact, they lived about 200 miles from one another, but one day fate intervened and their life stories crossed paths in Mechanicsburg, PA.  

Randy was a long-time resident of one of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania’s group homes. He  passed away a number of years ago, but his family was so impressed with the care that he had received here that they endowed an award in his memory.

Cortez Carey

One of six children born to his biological mother, Cortez Carey entered the foster care system at birth. He was one of many in his extended family that entered the foster care system at some point in their lives. Although he was adopted at age 6, he re-entered foster care at age 11 when the adoption failed.

Eric's Story

With support and encouragement from family, friends and staff, Eric enrolled in an eight week photography course at the Community College of Allegheny County. This was a huge accomplishment for him.

Education as a Bridge for Disadvantaged Youth

I was born in the Hill District of Pittsburgh and raised on both the east and west sides of the city. I entered the foster care system at the age of fourteen, two years after being in group homes on and off since age twelve.

The Purple Stone of Courage

Hello, my name is Debbie and I have been involved with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania since April 2013. I have bipolar disorder and have suffered for many years. I am writing this story with the hopes of helping someone else who may struggle with the illness.

On May 5, 2013 Wayne ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon. He prepared by running forty-eight straight hours on a treadmill...

"Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints", said Steve Prefontaine, former US middle and long distance running great. "I like to make something beautiful when I run." Wayne Kurtz knows that feeling, too.