Former "Erie Kid" Juan Campos Will Receive Legacy Award at Future of Promise Dinner
February 23, 2016 | Chicago, IL
Juan Campos grew up attending Erie House programs. Today, the Secretary-Treasurer for Teamsters Local Union No. 705 is paying it forward for other families in the Erie House community. PHOTOS COURTESY JUAN CAMPOS
Erie Neighborhood House will honor Juan C. Campos with the Legacy Award at its 2016 Future of Promise annual awards dinner on Thursday, March 3. For the Teamsters Local 705 Secretary-Treasurer and career United Parcel Service employee, the award speaks volumes about his upbringing.
As a single mother, Consuelo B. Campos raised Juan and his four siblings on Erie Street in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. The Campos children grew up attending programs at Erie House, and their mother instilled in them the values of gratitude and generosity. “I told myself if I was ever in a place to return the favor or pay it forward (to the Erie House community), I would do it,” says Campos.
“I lost my mom in 2005,” he says of Consuelo, who passed away 11 years ago. “I know she would be so proud of me for doing the right thing, for being part of this work and putting others first.”
Erie House chose to honor Campos for precisely those reasons. When he was elected to his current role, Campos was determined to make sure Teamsters Local 705 became more actively involved in the community. “I remember saying, ‘Let’s see what we can do to help out.’”
To that end, Teamsters Local 705 has shown tireless generosity to the Erie House community. They sponsored several “critical need” families for the holidays last December, taking them shopping for clothes and gifts and treating them to breakfast. Teamsters Local 705 also provided food for YOU and TEAM activities this year, partnered with Erie House to offer free English as a Second Language classes to union members in good standing and installed fans in the gymnasium at Erie House.
At first, Campos shied away from the proposed honor. “I didn’t start doing this because I wanted to win an award or get recognized,” he explains. A Teamsters colleague encouraged him to at least think about it, but no sooner had he told his family he might decline the invitation than he realized he had no choice in the matter. “My kids were like, ‘Are you kidding me? You have to do this!’”
His symbolic return to Erie House—a place that made such an impact on him during his childhood—to accept an award will be especially gratifying. “This is a huge honor for me,” says Campos. “That’s my neighborhood. It’s almost like being an Olympian.”
“Juan is what we like to call an ‘Erie kid,’” says Celena Roldán, executive director at Erie House. “He is someone who grew up here and now is able to look back on that experience with feelings of both pride and gratitude.”
“We’re inspired by each and every participant who comes to Erie House and achieves success as a result,” she adds, “but it really warms our hearts when someone like Juan returns years later to pay it forward and ensure a new generation of Erie kids and families has an opportunity to succeed.”
Campos will attend the dinner alongside his grown children and their families as well as numerous Teamster colleagues and friends. Perhaps more notably, he purchased additional seats for the three Erie House families that Teamsters Local 705 supported during the holidays. “It was important to me to make sure the three families we sponsored could be at the dinner,” says Campos.
Scott C. Swanson, president of PNC Illinois and 2015 Community Leader honoree, will present the Legacy Award to Campos. Erie House will also honor Corporate Leader Award recipient Terrence P. LeFevour as well as Ed Wehmer on behalf of Wintrust, recipient of the Community Leader Award.
To reserve a place at the March 3 Future of Promise awards dinner or to become an event sponsor, please visit www.eriehouse.org/futureofpromise or call (312) 432-2238.