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A Special Message from

Ed Strabel, Maryville Manager of Gym Recreation

Ed Strabel, a 43-year Maryville veteran announces his personal donation challenge to support the 2nd Annual Virtual Week of Giving fundraiser. Will you answer his call to help our Maryville children, families and programs?

Maryville Executive Director Sister Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F. 

"Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven." - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher


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Help our children and families by contributing to our virtual fundraiser.

No act of generosity is too small to make a difference.

We appreciate your support!


Meet Aaron Hicks. In his video, he shares his Maryville journey, from a kid who dealt with his past during his "golden years" as he calls it to his successful transformation. He credits getting involved in sports especially golf and having great house parents while at Maryville as what helped him overcome his challenges.

This is Michael White, a proud and successful Maryville alumnus. He considers it a blessing to have moved to Maryville with his siblings in the early 1990s. He said that being at Maryville made them the people they are today. 


Erin Sahlberg was at Maryville for five years. She credits Maryville for teaching her so many skills such as cooking, cleaning, accepting criticisms, among others. While at Maryville, she learned what family is about and considers the girls she lived with as her sisters as well as the other youth on campus as her brothers and sisters. "There isn't a thing I wouldn't do for any of those I grew close to," she said. "I still have lifelong friendships that have blossomed into family. I was very lucky as a child to live there." Sahlberg recalls doing so much while at Maryville. She enjoyed going to the Blackhawks games, football games, camping at Eagle River in Wisconsin and going to Six Flags every year. "I owe so much to Maryville," she said. Sahlberg, a successful Maryville alumna, works as a manager at a medical center and manages the housekeeping department. She also owns her own candle and wax business, Whispering Meadows Wax Craft.


Gerald Babicz was at Maryville from 1960 to 1967 and came away with learning how to share. Catch a glimpse of Gerry as he shares his Maryville journey.

Alumni Spotlight

Susana Cloutier is a proud Maryville alumna and lived at Maryville from 1990 to 1992. She graduated with honors and a year in advance from Nipper and John Hersey High School. She married her childhood sweetheart whom she met at Maryville in 1990 and they have two daughters and two sons. She is an advocate for domestic violence awareness, child abuse, Alzheimer's awareness and animal cruelty. She is a home health certified nursing assistant, runs the alumni Facebook page and an active participant at Maryville events that goes back to the chuckwagon days.

Vachel White called Maryville home for six years. She left in 1993 to go to Olivet Nazarene University where she was a student athlete and graduated in 1997. That fall she was hired by Maryville as a family educator at the Des Plaines campus. She served the youth and families for five years and the experience got her interested in supporting families as a career. In the last 17 years, White works as an early childhood educator for Head Start where she supports and advocates for families in their homes.


Joanna Nicolas, a proud Maryville alumna, resided at Maryville Academy from summer 1995 to spring 1999 during high school. She lived in the emergency shelter, the Yeager Home, until she transitioned to the Spuryt Home, where she remained until she graduated high school. She went to Loyola University Chicago after high school and transferred to Illinois Wesleyan University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science degree. She worked for The Baby Fold, a residential treatment center in central Illinois. She graduated from Indiana University with a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling degree and spent the next several years caring for her five children while actively volunteering in her local community. She returned to work in 2019 when her children were older and started her current position. She creates NGSS aligned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum for preK-8th grade and teach and lead STEM programs for preK-Adults. Joanna is married to her wonderful husband Matt for 18 years.

John Brdecka is a proud Maryville alumnus. He graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Criminal Justice. He also holds a Masters in Library Information Science from Dominican University. He has worked at Northwestern University for over 15 years and is the Interim Associate University Librarian for Resource Delivery & Management. He resides in Wheaton, IL. with his lovely wife, Brittni and their four children: Presli, Brody, Brandon, and Berkli. He is an avid golfer and loves taking road trips with his family.

Letter from Helen O'Connor

Helen O'Connor, left, is shown in photo with past Maryville Associate Director Cheryl M. Heyden (1954-2020)



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Maryville is a child care nonprofit organization rooted in Catholic social teaching and dedicated to the preservation of the dignity of children at every age. Our mission is to protect children and strengthen families while helping them reach their fullest potential by empowering their intellectual, spiritual, moral and emotional growth.

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Maryville Academy
For questions, please contact Tina Hock at


1150 North River Road, Des Plaines, IL, USA

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