New, Specialized Independent Living Program for Emerging Adults Opens in Chicago

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The Brooke Whitted Center Nurtures Life Skills, Education and Self-Sufficiency for College-Capable Adults

“There is a gap in the services available to college-capable adults who are working through mental health challenges and who are on the autism spectrum."

A new, specialized independent living program that helps guide college-bound young adults facing mental health challenges prepare for a successful and increasingly independent college experience is now open in Chicago.

The Brooke Whitted Center (BWC) ( assists college-capable adults ages18 to 25 discover new ways to gain coping skills, learn to become independent, and set a course to be successful in their post-secondary studies.

Individuals are offered opportunities for personal growth by challenging them with the tasks of independent living, such as attending college classes and working, while providing intensive one-on-one support that will help them transition to self-reliance.

The program is tailored and individualized to each participant’s needs so they can experience a wide range of educational, vocational, social and cultural opportunities in the city within walking distance and via public transportation.

“There is a gap in the services available to college-capable adults who are working through mental health challenges and who are on the autism spectrum. They have the aptitude to continue their educations, but are having difficulties making the adjustment in other facets of their lives and in building lives that are well-balanced and complete,” says Kathy Daniher, director.

True 24/7 Care

Few places like the BWC exist in the U.S. that offer full-time, individualized treatment for participants who have had difficulties living on a campus, in an independent apartment or with family at home.

What further distinguishes the BWC is its 24/7 support. A counselor from its highly skilled and experienced clinical and transitional team is always awake and available no matter the time of day or night.

Support for Living and Working

The BWC is comprised of two locations within Chicago for maximum living, employment, educational, social and cultural support.

The Brooke Whitted House (BWH), the Center’s full-time participant residence in a modern condominium building next to the renowned Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (, provides a residential atmosphere that balances structure and accountability while building individuality and autonomy as students learn daily living skills.

The Brooke Whitted Loft (BWL) is the South Loop facility where participants are supported while they work and attend classes at the many educational institutions nearby.

“The transition from adolescence to adulthood isn't easy for anyone, but the right structure, support, and expertise can provide individuals with the foundational skills they need to develop and grow,” says Daniher. “We help these emerging adults develop skills for living, which can define their path for life.”

The BWC is dedicated to and named after the late Brooke Whitted, the former Board president of the Leslie Shankman School Corporation, which operates the Orthogenic School.

To learn more, please call Kathy Daniher, LCPC, at (773) 420-2597 or at kdaniher(at)bw-center(dot)org.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Bob Reed
Element-R Partners, LLC

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