Former "Erie Kid" Solidifies Legacy of Giving Back by Joining Board of Directors
September 28, 2016 | Chicago, IL
Juan C. Campos, the Teamsters Local 705 Secretary-Treasurer who spent many of his childhood days at Erie Neighborhood House, is one of the newest members of the organization’s board of directors.
“I guess it’s true—you can take the kid out of the neighborhood, but you can’t take the neighborhood out of the kid,” he says, reflecting on the progression of events that have brought him further and further back into the fold at Erie House.
Having grown up on Erie Street in West Town, Juan spent innumerable hours involved in programs at the nonprofit organization. He credits Erie House with helping his single mother establish herself in a new city as she raised him along with his four siblings. In his professional career Juan has enjoyed success as a long time Teamster, first as a driver for UPS and now as Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 705, the largest Teamster local in the Chicagoland area and the 3rd largest in the nation, representing over 15,000 members in the trucking industry.
When he was voted into his current role with Teamsters Local 705, Juan committed to looking for ways to ensure the union and its members were giving back to the community.
Teamsters Local 705 and its members heeded that call by showing their support and generosity toward Erie House in countless ways: They installed fans in the Erie House gym, sponsored critical needs families over the holidays and throughout the rest of the year, provided food for youth programs, sponsored a campus visit to The University of Illinois and overhauled the agency’s phone system—just to name a few.
“I am so very proud of the work Erie House does,” he says, acknowledging that he is part of a growing circle of former participants—including fellow board members David Tolen-Xolot and Leo Martinez—now serving the organization in new and exciting ways. “So many of us that have accessed their services throughout the years have returned to mentor, donate and volunteer to help others.”
Earlier this year Erie House honored Juan with the Legacy Award during its 2016 Future of Promise dinner in recognition of the generosity he and his colleagues at Teamsters Local 705 have shown.
“It was a special moment for the room full of attendees to hear Juan’s story and the way he has committed to paying it forward for a new generation of Erie kids,” says executive director Kirstin Chernawsky.
“We are thrilled to have Juan join our board,” she adds. “His passion for the work we are doing in the community is clear, and he brings a unique perspective as someone who grew up coming to Erie House.”
Juan expresses gratitude for the help he received while growing up—and for the opportunity to help others. “I am honored to be in a position to give back,” he says, “and support this excellent organization that has, and continues to, positively impact the lives of so many families in the Chicagoland area.”