Single-handedly cooking Christmas dinner for a crowd is no easy task; one young single mother at Jubilee Village (JV) decided to express her appreciation by doing just that.

Giselle, who graduated from Jubilee Village’s two-year program, has been honing her skills by working a full-time job in the cafeteria at the Wheaton courthouse while simultaneously attending the College of DuPage in their culinary program. Now a resident of JV’s Stage II program, which allows her more independence and continued support while paying a subsidized rent, Giselle demonstrated her gratitude to Jubilee Village by offering to cook the entire dinner for JV’s Christmas celebration with the girls on December 21. Giselle especially enjoys cooking authentic Mexican food, and she impressed the group with an array of incredibly tasty dishes.

“Not only is she a great chef, but it takes skill and knowledge to know how much food to make for 23 people, to time everything perfectly, and to do it without any assistance from anyone,” says Michelle Demuir, Jubilee Village director. “Giselle has clearly incorporated all that she’s learned in school, and we were all impressed with her skills and appreciative of her generosity to us.”

“Giselle is not only gifted in her chosen field, but she is a lovely young woman and a great mother to her four-year-old daughter,” adds Michelle. “Giselle will graduate in December of this year, and she has certainly demonstrated that her future will be bright, and her options unlimited!”

Read more about Giselle’s story.

A transitional housing program for single, formerly homeless mothers, Jubilee Village serves women between the ages of 18 and 24 and their children. The program is designed to holistically address the myriad needs of its residents, many of whom come with histories of family discord and domestic violence and without financial resources or job skills.

Young mothers benefit from wrap-around services, including safe and secure housing, counseling, case management, financial planning, parenting classes, job skills and mentoring from experienced live-in couples on each floor. Jubilee Village is a program of Wheaton Youth Outreach.

Jubilee Village served served 21 women and 20 children in 2017.