The Blue House Finds New Stewards, Similar Mission 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 

BAPA School Liaison 

This month, the iconic Blue House, officially the Catholic Youth Ministry Center at Morgan Park High School (CYMC), is being handed on to the Morgan Park High School Alumni Association (MPHSAA). 

“I personally am honored at the opportunity to continue the work and share in the legacy of service and leadership that is at the heart of Morgan Park,” said Carisa Parker, an MPHSAA board member and 1992 graduate of and Local School Council member at Morgan Park High School. 

Peggy Goddard, CYMC executive director, announced in April the Blue House would soon dissolve as a not-for-profit corporation. After hearing MPHSAA had been searching for a space to further their commitment to support the MPHS community, Goddard sought approval from the CYMC Board of Directors for dissolution to MPHSAA.   

Goddard said, in Illinois, when a not-for-profit corporation disbands, it must turn over any assets to another organization with a similar mission. “Turning over the Blue House to MPHS Alumni was the perfect fit because they too serve MPHS students though in a different way,” she said. 

“MPHSAA seeks to not only honor the legacy of the Blue House but also continue to grow its support of MPHS and its students through alumni and community engagement,” said Quiana Edmonds, MPHSAA president. “The Blue House is blessed that we can keep it in the family by turning the reigns over to the former students [CYMC has] worked so hard to serve for the past 44 years.”  

CYMC was founded in 1978 at the MPHS-centered Blue House, which they inhabited and offered services at, but did not actually own until a decade later. CYMC began as a place of support for Catholic students who attended Morgan Park High School. The Blue House was a drop-in center and safe space where all kids could visit and participate in programming, such as cooking, sewing, dating violence and conflict resolution.  

As much as CYMC participants received, they also gave back by helping out with annual food and coat drives during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, making and donating baby blankets for single mothers in need, and contributing food to food pantries.  

After ownership of the Blue House is officially transferred, Goddard who has lived in the area for 44 years and began with CYMC in 1979 as a part-time bookkeeper, will retire from her position as executive director. Regarding the work she’s been able to do, she said, “For me, it’s always been about the kids and what the kids need.”  

Goddard says passing the torch to MPHSAA makes perfect sense because of the group’s commitment to MPHS students. She is excited to see what comes next.  

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