Stories

Chase volunteers and Chicago Cares help Reclaim Southwest Chicago

Chase volunteers and Chicago Cares help Reclaim Southwest Chicago

On Friday, November 2nd, 20 employees from JPMorgan Chase came to Southwest Chicago for a hands on service day.  The employees, some of whom live in the community, work all over the Chicagoland area and were looking for an opportunity to give back to the community.  They spent time in the 6400 block of south Maplewood working to clean out debris from one building to get it ready for rehab and to help with construction related tasks at another building. …

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SWOP’s New Adler Data Intern

SWOP’s New Adler Data Intern

SWOP is pleased to welcome Robbi Wiggins as the new Adler University Data Intern.  Robbi lives in the community and is a graduate of Ball State University.  In her role as Data Intern, she will be collecting and analyzing data on participation in SWOP events, helping with the regular housing vacancy survey for the Reclaiming Campaign, and researching data on neighborhood improvement.  Robbi is interested in working in the area of juvenile justice when she graduates from Adler.  This is…

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Staff Changes at SWOP

Staff Changes at SWOP

It’s in with the old (or at least familiar) and in with the new at SWOP these days.  Joel Rodriguez rejoins SWOP after being away for a couple of years.  While away from SWOP, he was working on community engagement at Gage Park High School.  Joel will lead SWOP’s youth leadership development work.   Amanda Reilly joins SWOP as a new organizer.  She comes to SWOP from Pennsylvania where she worked as a social worker.  Amanda is working on the…

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Nightingale Workshop

Nightingale Workshop

By Ana Laura Narro Last Wednesday, October 17, Nightingale Parent Mentors had a workshop for “Parents of Children with Special Needs” by the Parents4Teachers group open to the community. In this workshop attendees learned about their rights as parents and how to advocate for their children who have special needs. The workshop was attended by around 50 people, among whom were parents from other schools such as Edwards and Hurley. At the end of the workshop, 4 mothers had individual…

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SWOP Wins Sustainable Community Schools Funding For Morrill

SWOP Wins Sustainable Community Schools Funding For Morrill

SWOP recently received word from the Chicago Public Schools that it will be a recipient of Sustainable Community Schools funding for its work at Morrill Elementary School.  SWOP staff people Jasmine Serrano and Joel Rodriguez are partnering with Principal Dawn Sydnor-Cole to implement expanded and new out-of-school time programming at the school. Parents, school staff, partners from Metropolitan Family Services (MFS), and SWOP staff are spending the week of August 20th in training provided by CPS.  At the end of…

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SWOP Parent Mentor Program Expands

SWOP Parent Mentor Program Expands

With support from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Public Schools’ Community Schools Initiative (CSI), SWOP is expanding the Parent Mentor Program to four new schools.  The new schools in Southwest Chicago that are implementing the program are Hampton, Edwards, Hurley, and Christopher.  Parent Mentor organizers are busy right now recruiting coordinators and parents for the expansion effort. This exciting development was made possible when ISBE increased the Parent Mentor Program budget from $1.4 million last…

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David McDowell, An Appreciation

David McDowell, An Appreciation

Sixteen years is a long time.  A person can be born and then legally drive.  Both the Cubs and White Sox won a World Series in that span.  Cities and communities can go through great economic turmoil and then Reclaim themselves.  An organizer can be hired and spend those sixteen years working to build relationships, leadership, and power in Southwest Chicago.  That’s what David McDowell did at SWOP. David had an interesting path in joining SWOP.  He was a transplant…

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Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

SWOP has recently purchased multiple buildings on the 5900 and 6000 blocks of South Campbell Avenue, as the next phase of Reclaiming Southwest Chicago gets underway.  Two vacant four-unit buildings near the corner of 60th and Campbell have been purchased, as well as a single family home at 6036.  SWOP is also working on acquisition of two other properties on the 5900 block through the Cook County Land Bank Authority.  5925 S. Campbell is a single family home right next…

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Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

The Grow Your Own Illinois teacher’s training program helps individuals who have an interest in teaching do so in a way that helps the community. GYO’s target candidates are people from low- and moderate income communities who wish to pursue their interest in teaching and better the community. Their goal is to support its candidates on their journey to becoming teachers. This can be in the form of providing financial assistance, wrap around supports, and the sense belonging from a cohort of people with the same passion for education. GYO candidates get…

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Companies Coming Together

Companies Coming Together

Last Friday a group of interns at Mayer Brown lead by Joe Seliga visited the Marquette Park neighborhood. The group went on a thorough tour of the area, and concluded their trip with a Lunch at SWOP to meet the team and learn about the organization. Seliga, who grew up in the area, brought a delicious lunch from Mezquite Pollo Express. Over lunch, the group discussed SWOP’s initiatives and goals, as well as its history, and the Mayer Brown interns…

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