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A kindergartener was missing school. That’s all Michelle Sherman knew when she contacted the family. “It was a cold call,” she said. “I just said: I’m here to help.”

Sherman reached out as a family advocate with the University of Dayton’s Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) program. Created 15 years ago, the program now serves 14 Catholic schools with more than 3,600 local children through counseling, crisis intervention, mentoring and curriculum that teaches empathy, emotional management and problem solving

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