Todd Selkirk, current board member and former employee of DePaul Community Resources, has a “why” that has been developing his whole life. Todd’s father grew up in an orphanage, and though he never spoke much about it to Todd, learning about his father’s experience affected him greatly. “My father’s forever family started when he married my mom,” said Todd. He cites his maternal grandparents, long-time foster parents, as an inspiration for his early career as a social worker. Growing up surrounded by family who had experienced the heartbreak and happiness that can come with the foster care system firsthand shaped the way Todd saw the children who were affected by it. These experiences created a fight within him to do something for those children.
“I don’t ever want another child to go through life without a forever family.” — Todd Selkirk
When Todd began his role as a social worker at DePaul after college, the opportunity seemed like the perfect fit. He recalls that some of the cases he worked with broke his heart, and those experiences drove him to do everything in his power to rewrite those kid’s stories with them. More so than the negative, the positive memories from those days have stayed close to his heart over the years. “I worked with so many amazing, resilient kids that I still remember to this day,” Todd recalled. Though Todd only worked at DePaul for three years before moving to his current career in insurance, he always felt the pull to make a difference.
Almost 20 years after his days as a social worker, Todd was approached about joining the Board of Directors at DePaul. Coming full circle with the organization where he began his career all those years before was the opportunity to make a difference that he had been searching for. “I felt like I needed to get involved again and help people,” said Todd of his transition to the Board of Directors. “Every social worker there should be wearing a cape—there isn’t anything greater than helping a child.” Todd’s hope is that his role will help DePaul increase both donor and charitable giving, and become less reliant on government dollars. “It’s not about money,” Todd explained. The flexibility that comes from non-government funding will enable DePaul to add more services and help more people—something Todd is certainly on board with.