Debra Vines, Founder, CEO, The Answer Inc

After the unexpected passing of her daughter, Renee Anderson received custody of her two grandchildren and was thrust into early retirement. As a grandmother raising her grandchildren full-time, Anderson has certainly experienced some challenges; yet, she has found comfort and peace in knowing that she has found a village and support system in her community. 

Anderson raises a set of 10-year-old twins, one girl and a boy, Malik. Malik has autism, and presented behavioral challenges for Anderson. She worried about her own ability to help her grandson grow and become independent. 

By chance, Anderson became acquainted with The Answer’s Program Coordinator, Dana Bryant, and learned about the programs and services the agency provided. 

“At first” Anderson said, “we had to deal with a lot of whining from Malik, and his tone of voice, he talks so loud. However, I see progress in him since those programs.” 

Over time, Anderson began to notice vast improvements with her grandson. He attends The Answer Inc.’s weekly Saturday program, and participates in the Spectrum University tutoring program where he receives help with school assignments and creative projects. 

“Saturday programs are very helpful because they give me a bit of a break,” Anderson said. “The only other break I have from parenting is school.”

With the support of The Answer Inc. Anderson says Malik has become more independent with dressing himself, his communication is progressing, and he’s learning better manners and etiquette. 

“I hope this program never ends,” said Anderson. “These types of programs help me believe there are people who really do care in our communities.” 

The Answer Inc., 
(708) 296-5651
theanswerinc.org

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